Airspace, Screengrab (Courtesy: The National)
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Pakistan reiterated that it won’t open the airspace for commercial flights from India, till  New Delhi removes fighter planes from the forward bases, Dawn reported on Friday.

“The Indian government approached asking us to open the airspace. We conveyed our concerns that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward.”  Aviation Secretary  Shah­rukh Nusrat said.

Nusrat was responding to questions raised by the members of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation.

Earlier, Pakistan had made it clear that it was waiting for India’s decision to lift the airspace ban. They also said that there is still no official communication with India regarding the opening of the airspace.

Following Balakot strikes, in February 26th, Pakistan had closed its airspace to Indian aircraft. The country has opened only two out of 11 routes that go through southern Pakistan.

Nusrat told the committee that Indian officials had contacted Pakistan requesting it to lift restrictions on airspace.

“However, Indian officials have been told that Indian airbases are still laden with fighter jets and Pakistan will not allow the resumption of flight operations from India until their removal,” she said.

Earlier this month, India’s Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that Indian airlines had suffered a loss of at least Rs 549 crore due to Pakistan’s airspace closure since February 27.

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