Barely 24 hours after Narendra Modi was sworn in again as the Prime Minister, the Indian Air Force (IAF) announced it was removing the temporary restrictions on all air routes in the country’s air space which it had imposed following air strikes on a terror camp in Balakot, Pakistan on February 27.
Friday’s decision is likely to evoke a positive response from Pakistan which had imposed similar restrictions on use of its air space by Indian aircraft, including commercial airlines. Earlier this week, Pakistan had extended the restriction on Indian aircraft over flying its territory till June 15.
Official sources said after the air strikes on Balakot, India had imposed restrictions which did not allow any aircraft flying over Pakistan airspace to use nearly a dozen entry/ exit points into India. In response, Pakistan had also banned all aircraft flying from India into its airspace to continue their onward journeys. As a result, Indian carriers’ flights from Delhi and Mumbai to and from Europe and US added about 90-120 minutes to their flying time.
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