Schedule for PIA flights from US unveiled
The Government of Pakistan will be operating special charter flights for repatriation of stranded Pakistanis from the United States in collaboration with the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Initially two special flights will operate from Washington D.C., first to Islamabad on 10th May, 2020 and second to Karachi on 13th May, 2020, said a press release issued by the Pakistani Embassy in Washington on Thursday.
Meanwhile, another flight will operate from Newark Airport, New Jersey for Lahore, dates for which will be announced shortly.
In addition, Governmnet of Pakistan will also operate three more flights from the US for repatriation of Pakistani citizens. Dates, cities of origin and destinations in Pakistan will be announced in due course of time.
Stranded Pakistanis already registered with the Embassy and its Consulates will be contacted to facilitate their travel by special flights. For flight related details please contact PIA Contact Centre at +92 21 111 786 786 in Washington DC.
Late last month, US Department of Transportation had issued a directive allowing PIA to operate direct flights to the US, saying the Pakistani national flag carrier can operate 12 flights to the US in a month.
On April 25, PIA had contacted the US authorities seeking permission for direct special flights to New York to repatriate stranded Pakistanis.
PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Air Marshal Arshad Malik in a letter sent to the State Department and the American ambassador in Islamabad sought clearance to operate special flights. He said the PIA will use Boeing 777 for these flights.
The PIA CEO also said that the planes will take Americans stuck in Pakistan to New York and will bring back Pakistanis stranded in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The CEO also cited a recent audit of the PIA conducted by America’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security in which the TSA expressed satisfaction about the functioning of the Pakistan airline.
The TSA also endorsed PIA’s security and safety system, the CEO added.
According to reports, the Pakistani embassy in Washington had been directed to approach the State Department and the Department of Transportation to seek permission for special flights from the US to bring back the stranded Pakistanis.
The CEO said the PIA had been one of the few airlines that had been serving the two countries for decades. However, for the last few years the PIA had stopped its routine operations for the US, although the Pakistani authorities had been in touch with their US counterparts to resume routine operations and were still maintaining staff in New York.