Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

Emirates and Etihad Airways resume select services to Pakistan

UAE aviation regulator lifts flight ban on Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar in Pakistan

Passengers hold national flags as they arrive at the airport to take their flights, after Pakistan resumed flight operations and partially opened its airspace, at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan on March 1. EPA/SHAHZAIB AKBER
Passengers hold national flags as they arrive at the airport to take their flights, after Pakistan resumed flight operations and partially opened its airspace, at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan on March 1. EPA/SHAHZAIB AKBER

The UAE's aviation regulator partly lifted a ban on flights to Pakistan, allowing national airlines to resume flights to Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar.

The General Civil Aviation Authority said the decision followed stability in Pakistan's airspace, according to state-run news agency WAM.

''The situation regarding other Pakistani airports will be reviewed later,'' GCAA said on Friday.

Emirates airlines said on its website: "Flights to and from Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar are no longer affected by the closure, and will resume with immediate effect."

Emirates flights serving Sialkot and Lahore were cancelled until March 4 due to the airspace ban, it said.

Etihad Airways said all its flights to Pakistan, with the exception of Lahore, will resume and will be upgraded to larger aircraft to accommodate previously disrupted passengers. Lahore services are cancelled until March 3, according to its website.

Pakistan re-opened its airspace temporarily for flights to and from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The country had closed its airspace on Wednesday after its military shot down two Indian military aircraft, reportedly on the Pakistani side of disputed Kashmir.

On Thursday, Pakistan International Airlines, which announced the initial closure of the airspace, confirmed it would be temporarily opened to Saudi Arabia and UAE on "priority basis".

In a tweet, PIA said: "PIA has decided to restore some flights from Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the basis of temporarily opening Pakistan airline limits.”

The tweet listed three flights from Jeddah, Madinah and Dubai that fly to Karachi on Thursday.

Updated: March 5, 2019 01:37 PM

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