Pakistan extends flight ban over its airspace for one more day amid Kashmir flare-up

Islamabad has prolonged the closure of its airspace until March 1 after two days of military exchanges between India and Pakistan in the contested Kashmir region, leaving thousands of people stranded at airports.

The entire Pakistani airspace will remain closed for all civil aircrafts until Friday 1pm GMT, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority tweeted on Thursday.

Islamabad closed its airspace on Wednesday, while India also shut down airports on its side of the UN-mandated Line of Control. 

Hostilities between the nuclear-armed countries escalated on Tuesday after the Indian Air Force attacked sites in Pakistan, claiming that its jets targeted terrorist camps.

Pakistan in return claimed to have shot down two Indian war planes. India confirmed the loss of one bomber but said it had downed a Pakistani aircraft as well. Islamabad denied the allegations.

The airspace closure in Pakistan and Indian parts of Kashmir disrupted air traffic as many airlines were forced to delay, divert or even cancel flights.