The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), on Friday, announced that Pakistan’s airspace would remain suspended for all transit flights till 3 pm on Saturday, March 9. According to a CAA notification, the airspace has been closed for all flights from east to west and west to east but some transit flights between the north and south of Pakistan’s airspace have been permitted. It further said that airports in Sialkot, Rahim Yar Khan and Sukkur,which were due to reopen today, would remain closed for an additional 24 hours. The notification claimed, “For entry and exit into and out of Pakistan, only specific airspace can be used.” The authority noted that airports where flight operations were resumed earlier this week would continue to operate as per schedule till 5 am on March 15. Flight operations at Karachi, Multan, Chitral, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Faisalabad airports would run as per schedule till 5 am on March 15. While flight operations had resumed at most airports over the week, the reopening of the airspace nationwide was again delayed. Pakistan had previously closed its skies last week in the wake of ongoing escalation with India. Flights between Asia and Europe were disrupted, where thousands of passengers were left stranded at airports across the world. However, airlines were later able to reroute flights that normally passed over Pakistan through China. Flights from Singapore to Europe that usually cross Pakistan and Afghanistan, for example, were rerouted westwards over Oman, with added hassles of over an hour’s increase in flying time and rising fuel costs. Officials further added that Iran also saw a heavier usage of its airspace. Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2019.