Stranded Pakistanis can now book flights for all airlines

Government allows all international airlines to operate in Pakistani airspace

By: News Desk      Published: 08:27 PM, 17 Jun, 2020
Stranded Pakistanis can now book flights for all airlines

Stranded Pakistanis are no more required to wait for special flights ticket as the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development allowed all airlines to operate in Pakistani airspace.

In a series of tweets, the ministry said travellers will be able to buy tickets directly from the airlines and they don’t have to wait for a call from the consulate, and the embassy for approval to buy tickets.

Ghulam Dastgir, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE, said Islamabad has decided to open its airspace for all international airlines.

“In first phase, all international airlines are allowed to book stranded Pakistanis from June 21 onward. It will help facilitate overseas Pakistanis who stranded after the ban on international flights in March,” Dastgir told Khaleej Times on Wednesday, June 17.

More than 80,000 stranded Pakistani citizens have registered with the Pakistani diplomatic missions in the UAE so far. Majority of this [around 70,000] are registered with the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai.

“We have repatriated more than 36,000 Pakistanis so far. Pakistan International Airlines has repatriated about more than 29,000 Pakistanis and rest has been travelled through the UAE airlines including Emirates, flydubai and Air Arabia,” the ambassador 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.

He said that the Pakistani government is coordinating with the UAE authorities to organise special flight operations to repatriate its citizens from the emirate.

“We started the registration of stranded Pakistanis in the UAE in March. We proposed the government to open Pakistani airspace so maximum people can get benefit of the policy,” the ambassador said.

Dr Moeed Yusuf, national security advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister, all airlines will be allowed to operate in Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said up to 40,000 to 45,000 Pakistanis per week will return to the country from June 21 onwards following the ease of ban on international flights.

“We are ready to facilitate stranded Pakistanis. All passengers will not be screened for Covid-19. However, passengers will have to self-quarantined at home for 14 days,” he said.