File photo shows passengers waiting in queue at an international counter during a rehearsal by the airport officials at the newly-built Islamabad International Airport. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Pakistan has suspended flight operations across all major airports in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab due to escalation of border tension between Pakistan and India.

The Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced the news on its twitter handle saying: “Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan has officially closed its airspace until further notice.”

Flight operations at Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Karachi, Sialkot and Islamabad airports were suspended, after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) claimed to have shot down two Indian fighter jets and allegedly captured two Indian pilots. 

The Peshawar international airport will be used for military purposes till it is reopened for commercial activities, an official told Dawn, adding that a red alert had also been issued.

"All civilian flight operations (have been) suspended," the official said.

According to Lahore airport manager, all incoming and outgoing local and international flights have been suspended until further orders.

India re-opens 9 airports closed earlier

Aviation watchdog DGCA Wednesday said operations at the nine airports, which were shut earlier in the day, have resumed "as of now".

A spokesperson of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said: "As of now, ops to these airports resumed (sic)."

Earlier on Wednesday, the DGCA issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM), saying flight operations at the airports in Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Pathankot, Amritsar, Shimla, Kangra, Kullu Manali and Pithoragarh will remain shut from February 27 to May 27.

The move to close the airports had come amid escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan after the IAF carried out strikes on terror bases in Pakistan.  

Closures announced earlier

Earlier, India announced the closure of nine airports in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab for civilian air traffic and the entire airspace north of New Delhi has been vacated on a day of rapidly escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was holding a high-level meeting to assess the security situation in the wake of the developments on Wednesday morning, including Pakistan claiming that it had shot down two Indian military jets and arrested two pilots.

India said Pakistan jets intruded into Indian air space in the Rajouri and Poonch sectors.

The flare up in the cross-LoC shelling, which was initiated by Pakistani troops in early hours of Wednesday, has resulted in security forces and other establishments being put on a heightened alert.