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Flights from GCC to Pakistan cancelled as it shuts airspace amidst rising tensions with India

Flights from GCC to Pakistan cancelled as it shuts airspace amidst rising tensions with India

Airports in certain parts of India were also closed on Wednesday

Several flights from the GCC to Pakistan were cancelled after the country closed its airspace for commercial flights on Wednesday, as tensions with neighbouring India escalated.

The country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) tweeted that it “has officially closed its airspace until further notice”.

Flight operations across major airports, including in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi have been suspended.

On Thursday morning, the CAA confirmed that the shutdown was continuing.

Dubai’s Emirates confirmed that flights to Pakistan on Thursday were cancelled.

“Due to the closure of Pakistani and Afghanistan airspace, a number of Emirates flights to/from Pakistan and Afghanistan on 27 and 28 February have been cancelled, a spokesperson said.

“The latest flight schedules can be found on emirates.com. Affected passengers are requested to contact their booking agent or Emirates reservations to rebook their flights or make alternative travel arrangements.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance and will not be compromised. We continue to monitor the situation closely, and will update our customers as the situation develops.”

Bahrain’s national airline Gulf Air also confirmed that it had suspended flights to and from Pakistan, Reuters reported.

“On 27 February, flights to/from Lahore, Multan and Islamabad are cancelled and all passengers will be transferred to next available flights when the airspace is open again,” it said in a statement.

In a statement, Abu Dhabi Airports also announced that all flights from Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Ain International Airport, on all operating airlines to Pakistan, “are on hold until further notice”.

“Passengers are advised to contact their respective airlines for flight updates,” it said.

“Staff across Abu Dhabi Airports are actively working to support affected guests. Further updates will be made available in due course,” it added.

Pakistan’s CAA also said that several flights had been diverted due to the decision.

Pakistani airports will be used for “military purposes”, an official told Dawn News TV, adding that a red alert has also been issued.

Meanwhile airports in certain parts of India including also Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Pathankot, Amritsar and Shimla also temporarily suspended flights on Wednesday, officials said.

The move came after Pakistan said it had shot down two Indian Air Force planes in its airspace on Wednesday and captured an Indian pilots.

On Tuesday, the Indian Air Force said it carried out military strikes on “militant bases” in Pakistan.

The escalation in tensions comes weeks after 40 Indian military personnel were killed in a car bomb attack that was claimed by a Pakistani-based militant group.

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