3 PIA flights to repatriate over 500 Pakistanis from Dubai today
As Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)’s special flights operation is getting pace, the Airlines will repatriate more than 500 stranded Pakistani citizens in the UAE through three flights from Dubai to Faisalabad and Karachi today (Sunday).
Two special PIA flights are scheduled to depart for Faisalabad at 10.30am and 4.30pm, carrying 140 passengers each on Airbus A320 while the airline's 777 will take off from Dubai to Karachi at 12.30pm to repatriate more than 250 people.
"PIA is ready to operate more special flights to facilitate stranded Pakistani citizens in the UAE as it noticed higher demand from Dubai to Peshawar and Islamabad," Shahid Mughal, regional manager for UAE at PIA, told Khaleej Times on Sunday.
PIA commenced its special flight operation on April 18 and has completed more than two dozen departures from Dubai to Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad and Multan to repatriate around 6,000 people so far. Another 2,000 were repatriated through 12 UAE airlines including Emirates, Air Arabia and Flydubai.
"We have scheduled 4 more flights to Faisalabad, Peshawar and Lahore this week. Around 280 passengers will be repatriated to Faisalabad on Airbus A320 on May 14 while Boeing 777 aircraft will carry more than 250 travellers to Peshawar on May 18 and to Lahore on May 21st," Mughal said.
Majority of 1.5 million Pakistanis residing in the UAE are comprising of blue-collar workers and many of them have lost their jobs and are now stranded due to coronavirus crisis. Pakistani government is coordinating with the UAE authorities to organise special flight operations to repatriate its citizens from the Emirate.
"This is one of the biggest repatriation operations from the UAE by any country so far. PIA management is ready to operate daily flights once more facilities are ready to quarantine international passengers especially from the UAE," Mughal said.
More than 69,000 stranded Pakistani citizens have registered with the Pakistani diplomatic missions in the UAE so far. Majority of this (around 63,000) are registered with the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai.