Pakistan suspends int'l flights for two weeks, domestic flights to continue

By: News Desk      Published: 03:41 PM, 21 Mar, 2020
Pakistan suspends int'l flights for two weeks, domestic flights to continue

Pakistan on Saturday decided to suspend all the international flights operations for two weeks – a move designed to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the decision, National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said the orders would come into effect from 8pm Saturday and stay in place till 8pm on April 4.

However, the domestic flights will remain operational as per schedule.

Moeed, who was addressing a joint press conference along with Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and NDMA Chairman Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal, said the ban will apply to all commercial and chartered flights.

But, he added, both diplomats and cargo planes would not be affected by the suspension.

Moeed said the painful step had to be taken despite the fact that around 0.2 million passengers were expected to arrive in the coming two weeks.

Dispelling the rumours spreading on social media, he said lockdown was out of question, as there was no such plan under consideration and Prime Minister Imran Khan had already made it clear during his press talk held Friday.

Earlier in the day, the PIA had suspended its international flights operation on temporary basis from March 22 (Sunday) till March 28 (Saturday).

The national flag carrier was left with no choice but to suspend the international flights after all virus-affected countries had banned the foreign flights.

Neighbouring India has already suspended the international flights operation and a one-week complete ban on all incoming international commercial flights will come into force from Sunday.