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— File photo
— File photo
The PIA aicraft visible from the airport  road. Residents are calling for enhanced security in wake of last night's attack. — Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
The PIA aicraft visible from the airport road. Residents are calling for enhanced security in wake of last night's attack. — Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi

PESHAWAR: The Emirates airline has officially suspended its flight operations to and from Peshawar in the wake of yesterday's attack on the city's Bacha Khan International Airport.

In an email to, the airline's spokesperson said the decision was made keeping in mind the safety of passengers and Emirates staff.

“Emirates has suspended flights to and from Peshawar effective 25 June 2014 until further notice, due to the security situation at the destination. Affected passengers will be rebooked on alternative Emirates’ flights and are asked to check on for further updates. We apologise for the inconvenience caused – however, the safety of our passengers and crew is a top priority and will not be compromised," the statement said.

On its website, Emirates said, "As this situation is beyond the control of Emirates, liability towards our passengers is limited in accordance with Emirates’ Conditions of Carriage for Passengers and Baggage. Additionally passengers are advised to contact their travel insurers.

Earlier this month: Cathay to stop Pakistan flight operations

The Emirates website says "flight cancelled due operational reasons".

Screengrab from Emirates website
Screengrab from Emirates website

Two flights were diverted from the Peshawar Airport to Benazir International Airport in Islamabad and Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore in the wake of yesterday's attack, according to a spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Earlier in the morning, a Shaheen Airlines flight had landed at the Bacha Khan International Airport, resuming flight operations after the attack last night.

CAA confirmed that an Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi would be landing in Islamabad while a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight No PK895 coming from Kuala Lumpur would be landing at Lahore airport.

Sources in the CAA said that the flights were diverted due to security reasons and routine operations would continue after clearance.

They also said that security measures were enhanced around the airport whereas additional security was also deployed to avert any untoward incident.

CAA spokesman Abid Ali Qaim Khani said that the Etihad Airways flight was not diverted but that the Rawalpindi and Peshawar flights had been combined due to low traffic and it would make its landing in Islamabad.

He also added that the CAA has requested enhanced security at the Peshawar Airport in the wake of last night’s attack.

Policemen stand guard at a check point outside the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar on June 25, 2014 after an attack on a Pakistan International Airlines flight. — Photo by AFP
Policemen stand guard at a check point outside the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar on June 25, 2014 after an attack on a Pakistan International Airlines flight. — Photo by AFP

Meanwhile, routine security has already been beefed up.

Due to its geographical location, security at the Peshawar airport is always tricky as the landing route starts from the tribal areas of Bara and Darra Adamkhel which are fragile for security.

Peshawar Airport is surrounded by residential areas, including the slums of Nawai Kalley, Badbher and the rural-urban mix population of Ring Road villages on one side.

A four-five kilometre road running along the landing strip of the airport is not properly guarded. The eastern strip runs along the main Bara road, residential houses and shops.

It provides a complete overview of the airport, including the military and the passenger aircraft parked on the strips, whereas hangers are also visible to the residents there.

Security analysts have already described these areas surrounding the airport as a potential launching pad for attacks especially after the December 2012 assault on the airport.

The runway is toward the northern side, which ends at the main University Road near Tambwan Chowk but the slums of Tehkal starts from the main road which have often been used by the miscreants to fire rockets at the airport in the past.

Examine: TTP claims attack on Karachi airport

Comments (53) Closed

Sunil Jun 25, 2014 05:01pm

PM Nawaz Sharif said" Pakistan is impregnable, rather seems more vulnerable.

Qamar Jun 25, 2014 05:31pm

Incompetent people at the helm of national affairs. What else can we expect from such people? We need a massive cleansing in our political system and ruthless accountability of bureaucracy. Who will do it? Only the people of Pakistan can do it through a popular uprising IF they wake up from their deep slumber.

ishrat salim Jun 25, 2014 05:46pm

When are we going to learn from our mistakes ? when ? we only wake up after the attack ? why ?

Jangul Jun 25, 2014 05:48pm

In my opinion the landing routes and area from where the landing planes take the position to land, should be well guarded with police patrolling the area and just 30 to 40 armed police on both side i.e. tehkal and bara road side can enhance the security of planes coming down from high to low altitude........CAA can afford it i think....two mobile pick up and other rider guards with latest arms patrolling and having check posts on both side can ensure best safety for the landing routes on both sides of Pesh. Airport........

Israr khan Ismailzai Jun 25, 2014 06:09pm

It seems more like this is becoming a " do or die " situation for Pakistan and its people. It is time to clean the house.

iffat Jun 25, 2014 06:10pm

are we heading towards a civil war?

uhu Jun 25, 2014 06:22pm

I suspect worst is yet to come. We sure are going down the hill and gaining momentum......Brace yourself fellow countrymen !!

Balach Tahir Baluch Jun 25, 2014 06:35pm


I'm sorry the firing around Peshawar Airport disturbed your slumber. I'll be happy to link you to several online newspapers of the past decade - we have been in a civil war for the past 10 years. I'll wake you when it's over. Good night.

Habeb Jun 25, 2014 06:38pm

The most annoying thing is that no one is ready to take the responsibility. I am sure today PMLN supporters consider it as provincial failure and Provincial govt will say its under CAA.

Qamar Jun 25, 2014 06:40pm

It was obvious that airlines will stop flying to Pakistan one after the other. First Cathay Pacific and now Emirates, soon to be followed by the other foreign airlines.

Does the PM who flies on private/government airplanes is bothered. Heck NOT.

Ghani K Jun 25, 2014 06:44pm

That is a set back especially for Pakistani labourers from KPK who extensively use Emirates Airline while flying back.

zak Jun 25, 2014 06:50pm

@iffat No, we are fighting a scourge left to us by foreign countries. But we will win because Pakistan is too strong a nation and the core in all Pakistanis heart and mind. Let the Army action begin in N. Waziristan and the end game will be in sight.

mohammadnoonnanna Jun 25, 2014 06:51pm

@Israr khan Ismailzai We must push aside the diplomacy or diplomatic moves and clearly come forward by naming the enemies. plans. We should go ahead with multi pronged attack, viz a viz diplomacy as well as media offensive.

zak Jun 25, 2014 06:51pm

@uhu In its 67 years of History Pakistan has face crisis worst than couple of terrorists firing at a plane. We Pakistanis always win in the end.

M M Ashraf Jun 25, 2014 06:52pm

If a responsible minister tells- shooting in these areas is a common occurence..what you expect the Emirates carrier to do. Please khuda ke wastey -keep the nuclear arsenal safe. We have become jokers in international community. Let my worst nightmare not be true.

M M Ashraf Jun 25, 2014 06:56pm

@Jangul oo bhai..haftey pehley in logo ney bola.. we have kept heightened security in all international airport..u see the result.Read the article.There is glaring lapse of security on all fronts. Inkey ministero ko plane divert karney ka shauk hai. Karli Emirates ne divert plane.

kdp Jun 25, 2014 06:56pm

Impossible to stop such attacks unless all population around the airport is transferred out. One person hiding among thousands residing near Airport can use long range shooting weapons (no shortage of those for common people to own or supplied with)

dv1936 Jun 25, 2014 07:00pm

@iffat you are in it, bring in the army to control the situation and to stop a catastrophe. Please do not let Pakistan become another Iraq.

gerry d'cunha Jun 25, 2014 07:22pm

looks like in the coming month emirates will suspend all its flights to pakistan, other gulf airlines might follow the same - passengers will now have to rely on PIA to land in pakistan

AdHawk Jun 25, 2014 07:27pm

Opportunity for local carriers?

Qasim Jun 25, 2014 07:29pm

The one consolation is PIA will take the lion share after all other foreign airlines suspend their operations..

Akram Jun 25, 2014 07:31pm

@iffat What makes you think we are headed towards a civil war? The whole country is united behind the army against the Taliban. Why do you suspect a civil war?

khairullah Jun 25, 2014 07:32pm

Now that one of the foreign competitor is out, more business for PIA and other Pak airlines. Also an opportunity for the government to save/earn extra foreign exchange.

Hussain Jun 25, 2014 07:45pm

Only the army can run the country and no one else it's simple as that i'm afraid...

Chakra Gaye ? Jun 25, 2014 08:03pm

No one can blame the airline ... Can they? Seems like a matter of time now

GA Jun 25, 2014 08:03pm

..and just this week Qadri had to pull this stunt by technically 'hijacking' an Emirates flight. Only a matter of time when even PIA will stop flying in Pakistan.

ali Jun 25, 2014 08:19pm

I am not surprised. This was prone to happen. i am worried about Emirates or Cathay Pacific suspending flights completely to Pakistan. I don't know why they have launched an operation in N. Waziristan when the real threat lies within Pakistan

Rev. Eldrick Lal Jun 25, 2014 08:54pm

Very sad to know that national carrier was attacked. These attackers should know that innocent people travel in civil airlines.

Kirther Jun 25, 2014 09:15pm

Not only incompetent but anti-state elements have taken charge of Islamabad--Tahir-ul-Qadri is correct, Imran Khan and MQM should adjust their strategy according to recent developments, should also adopt bold policies on urgent basis to save Pakistan from total destruction--in such situation democracy and democratic norms becomes meaningless when survival of the country is at stake.

Syed Jun 25, 2014 09:16pm

very soon pakistan will be like Zambia and Rawanda.

Munz Jun 25, 2014 09:17pm

All international airlines should immediately seize all operations in this dodgy country! Save innocent lives!

A. Mirza Jun 25, 2014 09:17pm

Poor Pakistan in the grips of destructive feudalism in the name of democracy....

Taj wazir Jun 25, 2014 09:38pm

Revolution in Pakistan is past due. Just need some handful of sincere, honest, greed free, educated, mature and non Obsessed with religion human beings to lead the revolution not the current arena of failed corrupt leaders . Good luck Pakistan.

neha Jun 25, 2014 09:39pm

The worst is yet to come.first it was cathay now emirates. Shame

Mahmood Jun 25, 2014 09:46pm

Too bad...we are going back to stone age ...

Ahmed Jun 25, 2014 09:55pm

Pakistan is collapsing under the leadership pf PML-N. The situation has become so horrifically bad that we have already started remembering Zardari days and Rahman Malik. Can it get any worst than this?

RS Jun 25, 2014 10:09pm

I would rather refrain from visiting Pak than flying via PIA. Can't trust the system anymore

Jeff Jun 25, 2014 10:22pm

Emirates has its and its passengers interest in mind. As a pilot i fully agree with the decision. I see a lot of people complaining against their government here, with out providing any concrete solutions.

Jawwad Saeed Jun 25, 2014 10:51pm

This is due to illegal settlements around all major airports of Pakistan owned by ruling and opposition parties have put the lives of passengers at jeopardy. What Taliban couldn't do Land Mafia has succeeded in doing by isolating the country and putting an end to all international flights. I fully expect it.

Nabeell Jun 25, 2014 11:11pm

I see it as an opportunity for local airlines to make an impact and get on track.

Sheraz Jun 25, 2014 11:40pm

Mr Shareef leave economics reform concentrate on security measures for people of Pakistan.

JK Jun 26, 2014 12:51am

Do you still want to protest drones?

Hamza Zuberi Jun 26, 2014 01:15am

The fruit of TTP's labour is now coming forth. This is what they've been fighting for all along. The economic and structural destruction of our beloved nation. More and more proof that they have been working for, and financed by, our enemies all along.

Fareed (usa) Jun 26, 2014 01:49am

When are we going to admit - they, the terrorists on one side & majority of us on the other side. Sadly,uninspiring leadership in the middle.

Munir Jun 26, 2014 02:29am

@Taj wazir LOL,,,, and you expect to find all that in Pakistan????? Wake up my friend. You are living in a LaLa land. Hah hah haaah...

Rev. Eldrick Lal Jun 26, 2014 02:48am

To Emirates the protection and safety of the passengers is a primal responsibility. The militants will continue in their ghoulish acts.

Dr. Sehar Khan Jun 26, 2014 03:29am

@ishrat salim ...Never!!!

Yawar Jun 26, 2014 03:34am

As TTP and their allies get more and more desperate they will try and increase their attacks on innocent civilians and will do whatever they can to hurt the economy of Pakistan. Our security forces cannot fight TTP and its allies alone. I hope the people who saw this happening and who know about terrorists living among them have the courage and decency to come forward and provide the information to our security forces so that this menace can be rooted out.

salim Jun 26, 2014 02:10pm

Saudi/UAE should start helping in stabilizing Pakistan/ Muslim World!!! It will be there business ventures which will also get effected in the long run! Oil is no more going to be a lucrative commodity to sell with more and more, environment friendly , energy source options.

Sajjad Khan Jun 26, 2014 02:11pm

@Qamar absolutely, they were probably either eating or sleeping while on duty.

colin Jun 26, 2014 06:58pm

@zak If you describe victory as losing more than half your country then such victories are best avoided I think.

Roy Medock Jun 26, 2014 07:37pm

Pakistanis should not be so negative. Things will improve. Pakistanis are basically nice people. They just have to; work together, be more tolerant and strive for rule of the law. It is darkest before dawn. Therefore it is important to be positive.

Mohammed Hanif Jun 27, 2014 08:24pm

Too many people in charge doing nothing.

If only they could learn from the UK where the Prime Minister gets his hands slapped by a Court Judge for talking about a court case, let alone people dying.