KARACHI, July 13: Over 50 PIA passengers who were to go from New Delhi to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, via Lahore have been stranded in the Indian capital since Wednesday (July 11) after the PIA aircraft developed a fault in India, making it impossible for them to catch a connecting flight, sources told Dawn on Friday.

These passengers, most of whom are Indian or other foreigners, are expected to arrive from Delhi to Lahore on Saturday and have been booked for onward journey to Saudi Arabia the next day.

The sources said that airlines usually carried passengers from other sectors and bring them to their base stations before putting them on connecting flights to their destinations. This practice brings additional revenue to airlines. Tickets for such flights are offered at a discount as otherwise, seats would go empty. Passengers looking for some saving also opt for such flights.

The 50 passengers were booked on a Delhi–Lahore flight which was scheduled to arrive at Lahore around 6pm on July 11 for catching a connecting flight for Riyadh at 10pm. However, the PIA aircraft that went to New Delhi developed some fault, delaying the flight.

The Pakistan International Airlines decided to keep the passengers in New Delhi instead of bringing them to Lahore since they would have needed visa for stay on Pakistan soil. Now these passengers are expected to arrive at Lahore from New Delhi on Saturday. Then they would be brought to Karachi and from here they are scheduled to fly to Riyadh on Sunday. So the passengers who should have arrived in Riyadh on the night of July 11, will now be reaching there on July 15.

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