A Pakistani airline passenger aircraft was barred from entering Saudi airspace Friday on the grounds that the airline did not have the required documents, reports said.
The Shaheen Air flight SAI (NL) -711 — which was carrying 200 passengers — took off on April 9 from Lahore for Dammam but upon entering Saudi airspace, the pilots were told that they were not authorised to land in Saudi Arabia.
Another report published in a local daily quoted General Manager of Shaheen Air Khalid Fareed Lodhi as saying that the reason for denying the aircraft permission to land was operational and technical.
"We were told by the Saudi Aviation Authority that because the aircraft was on lease from a Jordanian airline, it was not in line with the Saudi National Aviation policy to allow it to even enter Saudi airspace, let alone land there," Lodhi told the newspaper.
However, the report quoted him as saying that the same aircraft had landed in Saudi Arabia previously on the same route, and this could perhaps be a new policy.
The aircraft subsequently reverted to an emergency protocol and landed in the UAE for refueling, after which the passengers were brought back to Lahore.
After the matter was sorted out, the passengers were transported to their destination in Dammam.