Pakistan restores int'l flight operation
In a surprise move, the federal government decided to restore the international flight operation with effect from Saturday [12am PST] with a special focus on bringing the stranded Pakistanis back to the country, reported 24NewsHD on Friday.
According to the decision taken by the federal government, the outbound international flights (scheduled, non-scheduled and chartered) operation has been allowed.
All the airlines, including the foreign-based, will now be able to operate flights as the PIA has released the flight schedule from June 1 to June 10 on the special directives of government for the stranded Pakistani nationals.
The normal international flight operation was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the latest move would not cover Turbat and Gwadar where the airports will remain shut for international flights.
As far as the PIA is concerned, the national flag carrier will operate a total of 43 international flights from June 1 to June 10 to bring passengers to Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Karachi and Peshawar airports from China, the United States, Europe, Middle East and other regions.
Meanwhile, international airlines will also operate 19 flights during the same period. It means that a total of 62 flights would be operated during the said period.
Although, Pakistan suspended the international operation but special flights were to not only bring back the stranded Pakistanis from different parts of the world but also repatriate the foreigners stuck in the country.
Countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have been the main beneficiary of this relaxation as both countries operated more than two dozen chartered flights, besides the commercial ones operated by the likes of Qatar Airways, to get their citizens out of Pakistan.
Even Sri Lanka managed to pick their citizens from Karachi and Lahore to ensure their return to Colombo.