Airspace Closure over Pakistan affecting flights

A massive airspace closure has built up over the past few hours over Pakistan and North India, which is affecting air travel as I write this. Earlier today, at 7:30 UTC, a NOTAM was issued by Pakistan, closing out Pakistan Airspace to all air travel.

Pakistan Airspace Closure

Here is the screen grab of the NOTAM issued by Pakistan, on both their airspace divisions. The Airspace Closure is currently valid till February 28, which is tomorrow.

Pakistan Airspace ClosureHere is the link

Earlier than this, the Pakistan Airspace was only available above 32K feet, with the expectation of military action under that flight level. At no point of time were only Indian aircraft barred from flying over Pakistan as per current information. A Singapore Airlines A380 flying to London was turned away as well, for instance, so it flew over the Arabian Sea instead.

Airspace Closure

Indian Airports shut down & resume operations

Following the military action this morning and the closure of the Pakistani Airspace, India had shut down, temporarily operations at six airports north of Delhi. Here is the NOTAM.

a close up of a message

The following airports are affected:

  • Amritsar
  • Pathankot
  • Srinagar
  • Jammu
  • Simla
  • Leh
  • Kangra
  • Kullu

And as I write this, the NOTAM has been vacated as well, and flights are back up in the air from Jammu, for instance.

a map of a country

In the meanwhile, the Pakistan Airspace looks like this at the moment.

Pakistan Airspace Closure

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Have been tracking the situation since morning. Some observations that I made ( wish I could attach screenshots ) :
    1. A China Southern flight enroute Lahore was forced to land in Delhi due to this airspace closure.
    2. Initially , any flight that was taking off from India wasn’t being allowed to cross over. But , all flights originating from elsewhere ( say Nepal ) were free to move.
    3. After a while , this ban was lifted. During this temporary lift , British Airways , Flydubai & a Jet Airways flight ( all from Delhi ) smoothly crosses over after a few long go-arounds.
    4. The worst hit was Finnair from Delhi. Just minutes behind the BA flight , and was finally heading on its normal course after a long go-around. But then all of a sudden the Pakistani airspace was COMPLETELY closed . The last time I checked , it was over the Arabian Sea near the Pakistani coastline , even after 4 HOURS in the air.

    • Update :
      1. Finnair diverting to UAE for refuelling ( had to of course )
      2. Emirates EK 516 diverted to Ahmedabad , for refuelling I suppose. Now enroute Delhi.
      3. Spicejet from Kabul to Delhi taking the longest route possible for a realtively short flight.
      3. Most other carriers to/from Delhi operating as scheduled. Just have to take a longer route for now.

    • Update :
      1. United to Delhi diverted to LHR
      2. Air Canada heading back to Toronto , after reaching midway in Sweden

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