Amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan, China Friday cancelled all flights to and from Pakistan and rerouted its international flights flying over the Pakistani airspace, the official media in Beijing reported.
Thousands of air travellers were stranded world over due to Pakistan's airspace closure owing to rising tensions with India. Major routes between Europe and South East Asia were disrupted, PTI reported.
Civil aviation experts told the Global Times that flights from the Middle East that usually fly over Pakistan and India-Pakistan border will have to re-route over India, Myanmar or Central Asia to enter China now.
According to a statement sent to the Global Times by the North China Air Traffic Management bureau, the Beijing Capital International Airport cancelled all flights to and from Pakistan on Wednesday and Thursday, including connecting flights.
Whether those flights will fly today as scheduled is still unknown, state-run Global Times reported.
The bureau said that 22 flights fly in and out of Pakistan every week, including two from Air China and other flights from Pakistan International Airlines.
China is taking all positive measures to deal with international flights after Pakistan shut down its airspace, opening part of Chinese airspace for foreign airlines to re-route.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) immediately launched an emergency plan to notify domestic flight companies and cooperate with the air force to ensure the safety of flights and approve temporary flight plans.
Flights to Pakistan have undergone major changes in recent days and the CAAC reminded passengers to check flight information before they make plans, the statement said.
Pakistan's airspace was closed on Thursday. All international and domestic commercial flights in and out of Pakistan were canceled until further notice, according to reports from Pakistan.
At the request of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the CAAC opened part of China's airspace and air routes for foreign airlines to re-route, China National Radio reported.
Pakistan closed its airspace after tensions escalated with India in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM.
The IAF on February 26 carried out 'non-military pre-emptive strike' in Pakistani territories of Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad in retaliation to a terror attack on CRPF troopers in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14. India has blamed Pakistan of harbouring the perpetrator of the attack, Masood Azhar, the leader of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) which has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.
The Pakistani Air Force (PAF) in response to the attack by IAF intruded into the Indian airspace trying to target its military installations in Poonch and Nowshera sectors of J&K, but was forced to return by the IAF fighters.