Flights reroute to avoid Pakistani airspace

Tensions between India and Pakistan affect air traffic

Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated and are now affecting air traffic in the region. Pakistan has closed its airspace entirely and Indian authorities restricted flights at more than half a dozen airports for a few hours on 27 February.

Airspace overview

Situational update 22 March

General closures extended to 25 March 10:00 UTC. Notams below.


Situational update 09 March

Pakistan says it attempted to open one eastbound and one westbound transiting airway through Pakistani airspace between the Muscat and Mumbai FIRs (Notam A0258/19), but reciprocal connectivity was denied by Mumbai FIR (Notam A0357/19). Consequently, Muscat FIR has closed ALPOR to flights intending to transit Pakistan airspace. All relevant Notams reproduced below.

Attempted connectivity between Muscat and Mumbai FIRs through Pakistan

27 February — Pakistan has closed its entire airspace, which consists of two Flight Information Regions—Karachi (OPKR) and Lahore (OPLR). India has restricted flights at eight airports.

International airlines that normally transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace have been forced to reroute, including flights by Singapore Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, Aeroflot, Thai Airways, and of course, Air India.

Flights reroute to avoid Pakistani airspace
Flights reroute to avoid Pakistani airspace

Relevant Notams

Notams are official communications issued by aviation authorities that provide information and instruction to aircraft operators. Notams are how Pakistan and India inform aircraft of airspace and airport closures.

Pakistan Notam (Issued 20 March)

A0322/19 (Issued for OPKR OPLR) – PAKISTAN AIRSPACE WILL REMAIN CLOSED FOR ALL OVERFLYING (TRANSIT) FLIGHTS TILL 25TH MARCH 2019, TIME 1000 UTC(EST) EXCEPT THE FOLLOWING ATS ROUTES: I) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 KALAT G452 DERBO AND VICE VERSA II) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 PG G665 ASVIB AND VICE VERSA III) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 JI-METBI/EGRON AND VICE VERSA IV) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 PG T385 TAPDO V) APELO B505 PG G325 PS DCT 3550N07210E DCT PURPA VI) ALPOR M504 TELEM VII) SAPNA DCT TAPDO AS CONTINGENCY CONNECTIVITY FOR WEST BOUND FLIGHTS ON 24 HRS BASIS VIII) TRANSIT FLIGHTS ARE ALSO PERMITTED ON ROUTE SEGMENT SERKA-KALAT AND VICE VERSA IX) PIRAN A453 GADER AND VICE VERSA X) KABIM DCT TAPDO AND VICE VERSA AS BI-DIRECTIONAL CONTINGENCY CONNECTIVITY FOR TRANSIT FLIGHTS ON 24HRS BASIS XI) ALPOR G216 LAKIV N894 TELEM. SFC – UNL, 22 MAR 06:50 2019 UNTIL 25 MAR 10:00 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 22 MAR 07:09 2019

Pakistan Notam referencing Indian Notam (Issued 09 March)


A0258/19
– REF VABF NOTAM NUMBER A0357/19. TRANSITING FLIGHTS WERE PROVIDED CONNECTIVITY THROUGH KARACHI FIR VIDE OUR NOTAM A0257/19 ON ROUTE M504 FOR EAST BOUND FLIGHTS AND AND CONTINGENCY ROUTE SAPNA DCT TAPDO FOR WEST BOUND FLIGHTS (CMM) BUT THE SAME CONNECTIVITY HAS BEEN DENIED BY INDIAN AUTHORITIES. THIS CONSEQUENTLY FORCED MUSCAT FIR TO IMPOSE RESTRICTION TO TRANSITING FLIGHTS IN MUSCAT FIR ON M504 VIA ALPOR. 09 MAR 08:30 2019 UNTIL 11 MAR 10:00 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 09 MAR 08:39 2019

Mumbai FIR Notam restricting entry/exit to/from Pakistan (Published 09 March)

VABF   BOMBAY (FIC)
A0357/19 – REFERENCE NOTAM NUMBER A0257/19 ISSUED BY OPKCYNYX NO FLT IS PERMITTED TO ENTER OR EXIT MUMBAI FIR TO/FM PAKISTAN AIRSPACE. 09 MAR 06:50 2019 UNTIL 11 MAR 10:00 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 09 MAR 07:03 2019
A0356/19 – REFERENCE NOTAM NUMBER A0257/19 ISSUED BY OPKCYNYX 1. ALL FLT TRANSITING THROUGH MUMBAI FIR INTO MUSCAT AIRSPACE VIA L301/N571 FL300 NOT AVBL. 2. ATS RTE L301 NOT AVBL FOR WB VABB DEP. 3. FOR WB VABB DEP VIA N571 FL220 AND FL240 ONLY AVBL 4. WB VABB DEP CAN FLIGHT PLAN VIA P574. 5. DUE TO HEAVY AIR TFC CONGESTION IN MUMBAI FIR ACFT MAY EXPECT RE-ROUTING AND LOWER LVL AND ARE ADVISED TO CARRY MORE FUEL. 09 MAR 06:50 2019 UNTIL 11 MAR 10:00 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 09 MAR 07:00 2019

Muscat FIR Notam with additional restrictions (Published 09 March)

A0181/19 – REF VABF NOTAM A0352/19: ALPOR IS CLOSED FOR ALL TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR INTENDING TO TRANSIT PAKISTAN AIRSPACE ON AIRWAY M504. H24, 08 MAR 17:30 2019 UNTIL 09 MAR 16:30 2019. CREATED: 08 MAR 18:01 2019

Pakistan Notams (Published 07 March)

OPKR   KARACHI (FIC)
A0257/19 (Issued for OPKR OPLR) – PAKISTAN AIRSPACE WILL REMAIN CLOSED FOR ALL OVERFLYING (TRANSIT) FLIGHTS TILL 11TH MARCH 2019, TIME 1000UTC(EST) EXCEPT THE FOLLOWING ATS ROUTES: I) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 KALAT G452 DERBO AND VICE VERSA II) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 PG G665 ASVIB AND VICE VERSA III) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 JI-METBI/EGRON AND VICE VERSA IV) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 PG T385 TAPDO V) APELO B505 PG G325 PS DCT 3550N07210E DCT PURPA VI) ALPOR M504 TELEM VII) SAPNA DCT TAPDO AS CONTINGENCY CONNECTIVITY FOR WEST BOUND FLIGHTS ON 24 HRS BASIS VIII) TRANSIT FLIGHTS ARE ALSO PERMITTED ON ROUTE SEGMENT SERKA-KALAT AND VICE VERSA. SFC – UNL, 08 MAR 11:30 2019 UNTIL 11 MAR 10:00 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 08 MAR 13:57 2019
A0255/19 (Issued for OPKR OPLR) – .AA) ARRIVALS/DEPARTURES OPERATIONS TO/FROM AIRPORTS MENTIONED IN NOTAM NO.A0254/19 ARE TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED TO OPERATE ON FOLLOWING ROUTE SEGMENTS WITH CONNECTIVITY VIA ATS ROUTE G325 (JI G325 PS DCT 3550N07210E DCT PURPA AND VICE VERSA) AS FOLLOWS: I) (G325)JI-LAKIV-OPKC II) (G325)PG-DOSTI-OPKC III) OPKC-PARET-PG(G325) IV) OPKC-PARET-JI(G325) V) OPIS-KALMI-HANGU(G325) AND VICE VERSA VI) OPLA-PATNI-JHANG-DI-ZB(G325)/SAJAN(G325)/LAKRA(G325) AND VICE VERSA VII) OPFA-JHANG-DI-ZB(G325)/SAJAN(G325) AND VICE VERSA VIII) OPPS-PS(G325) AND VICE VERSA IX) OPQT-PARLO(G325)/KALAT(G325)/ZB(G325) AND VICE VERSA X) OPMT-HILAL-PARLO(G325) AND VICE VERSA XI) OPMT-DI-REGET(G325) AND VICE VERSA XII) OPCH J118 PS(G325) AND VICE VERSA XIII) METBI/EGRON-JI(G325) AND VICE VERSA XIV) ASVIB/KEBUD-PG(G325) AND VICE VERSA XV) SERKA/DERBO-KALAT(G325) AND VICE VERSA XVI) BIROS-ZB(G325) AND VICE VERSA XVII) DOBAT-REGET(G325) AND VICE VERSA XVIII) SITAX-SAJAN(G325) AND VICE VERSA XIX) LAJAK-LAKRA(G325) AND VICE VERSA XX) LAJAK-HANGU(G325) AND VICE VERSA XXI) APELO B505 PG(G325) XXII) (G325)PG T385 TAPDO .BB) G325 CONNECTIVITY IS NOT REQUIRED ON FOLLOWING ROUTES ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE OPERATIONS: I) ALPOR-LAKIV-OPKC II) OPKC-PARET-TAPDO III) OPMT J141 DI-JHANG-OPFA/OPLA AND VICE VERSA IV) OPPS-NONIB-KALMI-OPIS AND VICE VERSA V) OPKC-PARET-OPPG/OPTU/OPGD(VIA PI) VI) OPGD-PI-LAKIV-OPKC VII) OPTU/OPPG-DOSTI-OPKC .CC) NAWABSHAH AIRPORT IS AVAILABLE TO FLIGHT PLAN AS ALTERNATE TO KARACHI INTERNATIONAL FOR NATIONAL OPERATORS ONLY. 08 MAR 11:20 2019 UNTIL 15 MAR 23:59 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 08 MAR 11:24 2019
A0254/19 (Issued for OPKR OPLR) – FLIGHT OPERATION TO/FROM FOLLOWING AIRPORTS IN PAKISTAN SHALL REMAIN AVAILABLE AS PER OPERATION HOURS MENTIONED IN AIP PAKISTAN/NOTAM: I) KARACHI INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC II) LAHORE INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC III) ISLAMABAD INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESIC IV) PESHAWAR INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC V) QUETTA INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC VI) FAISALABAD INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC VII) MULTAN INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC VIII) TURBAT INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC IX) GWADAR INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC X) CHITRAL DOMESTIC XI) PANJGUR DOMESTIC CNS123W SEQUENCE CHECK FOR OPKCYNYX A — EXPECTED A0255/19 — RECEIVED A0254/19 CNN038W DUPLICATE NOTAM TRANSACTION ROLLED BACK, RETCODE = 14. 08 MAR 10:40 2019 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 08 MAR 10:49 2019

Updated Notam from India

A0233/19 – REFERENCE PAKISTAN NOTAM NUMBER OPKR A0234/19, FLIGHTS TRANSITING THROUGH DELHI FIR INTO PAKISTAN AIRSPACE ARE NOT PERMITTED BY PAKISTAN. ACCORDINGLY, ALL FLIGHTS ARE ADVISED TO FLIGHT PLAN THROUGH ALTERNATE ROUTE AVOIDING PAKISTAN AIRSPACE. 06 MAR 08:10 2019 UNTIL 07 MAR 08:00 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 06 MAR 08:11 2019

Updated Notam from Afghanistan (28 Feb 2019 10:54 UTC)

OAKX   KABUL (ACC/FIC)
G0446/19 – KABUL FIR NOT ACCEPTING OVERFLIGHT TRAFFIC SOUTHEAST BOUND EXITING INTO PAKISTAN AIRSPACE. THE FOLLOWING FIXES ARE CLOSED: FIRUZ (P500) LAJAK (L509) SITAX (M875) DOBAT (N644) BIROS (L750) RIMPA (G202) ASLUM (P628) SERKA (V390/N636) DAVER (TACTICAL TRAFFIC) GADER (A453) ALL OTHER AIRCRAFT REQUESTING TO OVERFLY KABUL FIR MUST ENTER AND EXIT VIA THE FOLLOWING COUNTRIES ON APPROVED ATC ROUTINGS: IRAN, TURKMENABAT, UZBEKISTAN, TAJIKISTAN. CONTACT KABUL FIR SUPERVISOR +93-79-404-8266 FOR FURTHER CLARIFICATION OR INQUIRES. 28 FEB 09:00 2019 UNTIL 28 MAY 23:59 2019. CREATED: 28 FEB 10:54 2019

Muscat FIR Notams (Published 06 March)

OOMM   MUSCAT FIR
A0172/19 – ALL TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR MAY EXPECT TACTICAL RE-ROUTING AND/OR ALLOCATION OF NON-ECONOMICAL FLIGHT LEVELS DUE CLOSURE OF PAKISTAN AIRSPACE. FLOW CONTROL MAY BE ADJUSTED SUBJECT TO SITUATION AND DISCRETION OF MUSCAT CONTROL ATS WATCH SUPERVISOR. AIRLINES ARE ADVISED TO CARRY APPROPRIATE CONTINGENCY FUEL. TO ANTICIPATE CONGESTION ON ATS ROUTES THE FOLLOWING SHALL BE APPLIED: 1. 50NM SHALL BE APPLIED BETWEEN ALL UAE DEPARTURES TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR TO TEHRAN OR MUMBAI FIRS OR PAKISTAN AIRSPACE. 2. 5 MINUTES SEPARATION SHALL BE APPLIED TO TFC AT SAME FLIGHT LEVEL ENTERING MUSCAT FIR AT MESPO. H24, 06 MAR 17:00 2019 UNTIL 11 MAR 23:59 2019. CREATED: 06 MAR 17:18 2019
A0169/19 – IN ORDER TO ANTICIPATE CONGESTION IN MUSCAT FIR DUE TO PAKISTAN AIRSPACE CLOSURE THE FOLLOWING IS APPLIED: 1. ROUTE SEGMENT BETWEEN MUSRU AND RASKI ON N881 IS CLOSED. 2. ALL TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR VIA MESPO SHALL EXIT VIA RASKI. 3. RASKI IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR ALL EASTBOUND TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR FROM TONVO LALDO GOMTA. 4. PARAR IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR DESTINED TO AIRPORTS WITHIN WSJC, VTBB, WMFC AND WIIF FIRS. 5. DENDA IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR ALL TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR DEPARTING NORTHERN UAE AIRPORTS. TFC SHALL FILE VIA A791. 6. FL300 ONLY AVAILABLE FOR TFC ENTERING MUSCAT FIR FROM DENDA/TAPDO. 7. FL300 IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR ALL TFC ENTERING MUSCAT FIR VIA RASKI/PARAR. 8. FROM 1700 T0 0300 UTC TFC TRANSITING THROUGH MUSCAT FIR BETWEEN MUMBAI FIR AND PAKISTAN AIRSPACE IS NOT PERMITTED. 9. FROM 1700 T0 0300 UTC TFC TRANSITING THROUGH MUSCAT FIR BETWEEN TEHRAN FIR AND PAKISTAN AIRSPACE IS NOT PERMITTED. H24, 06 MAR 15:00 2019 UNTIL 11 MAR 23:59 2019. CREATED: 06 MAR 15:28 2019

Effects on international carriers

Thai Airways has canceled its flights to Pakistan and all flights from Bangkok to European destinations due to the closure of Pakistani airspace. The full list from Thai Airways is below. In the image below, you can see the standard routings normally used by Thai Airways aircraft from Bangkok to destinations in Europe and Pakistan.

tandard routings normally used by Thai Airways aircraft from Bangkok to destinations in Europe and Pakistan

Turkmenistan Airlines flight 555 averages 2 hours 17 minutes between Ashgabat and Amritsar. The flight on 27 February avoiding Afghani and Pakistani airspace took 2.5 hours longer.

Turkmenistan Airlines flight T5555 flying around closed airspace

Some ferry flights were allowed to depart Pakistan to return to their home base on 28 February. These flights did not carry passengers.

AirlineFlight
Air ArabiaG9825
EmiratesEK637
Qatar AirwaysQR601
FlyDubaiFZ8960
Saudi Arabian AirlinesSV9064
Saudi Arabian AirlineSV9065
Saudi Arabian AirlinesSV9066
Saudi Arabian AirlinesSV9067

According to Eurocontrol, the closure of Pakistani airspace is affecting over 400 flights per day. Already busy corridors in Iran are seeing more than 100 flights added, while Georgian and Azerbaijan are seeing decreases in similar quantities.

Flights routing around Pakistan
Flights routing around Pakistan

Live air traffic


This post will be updated as necessary to include additional information, check back often.