More PIA flights to bring back countrymen stranded abroad

Updated April 10, 2020

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A special flight will be operated to Denmark from Islamabad on April 10.  — APP/File
A special flight will be operated to Denmark from Islamabad on April 10. — APP/File

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which has partially resumed its international flight operations, decided on Thursday to operate more flights to repatriate hundreds of Pakistanis stranded in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and France.

A PIA spokesman said that the national flag carrier had decided to extend its international relief flight operations to bring back Pakistanis stranded in different countries. A special flight will be operated to Denmark from Islamabad on April 10.

Likewise, another PIA flight will be operated for Bako city of Azerbaijan to repatriate 125 stranded Pakistanis. On April 11, a PIA flight will be operated to Kuala Lumpur to bring back 175 Pakistanis, who have been stranded there for 16 days.

The PIA flight scheduled for Kuala Lumpur will take diplomatic staff of Singapore and citizens from Islamabad and will bring back the 175 Pakistanis to Islamabad. On April 11, a special flight of PIA will be operated for France from Islam­abad and French citizens stranded in Pakistan will be repatriated to their home country on this flight.

On April 12, another PIA relief flight will be operated from Islamabad to Japan’s capital city Tokyo with Japanese citizens and essential goods on board.

As many as 200 Pakistanis stranded in Thailand will be brought back to Islamabad by a special flight of PIA, which will be operated on April 13. The spokesman said the people who wanted to travel by special flights and had not contacted their respective embassies were requested to contact the PIA offices or call centres for reservation.

Meanwhile, a PIA flight PK-792, carrying 137 passengers and 15 crew members, arrived in Islam­abad from Birmingham on Thursday.

All the passengers and crew members of the flight PK-792 were shifted to different hotels in Islamabad for swab tests.

The PIA spokesman said the crew members were shifted to hotels for swab tests for 24 hours. They will be allowed to go home after their test reports are negative. In case of positive reports, they will be shifted to hospital.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has established a contingency air traffic control radar service room at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi as a proactive measure during the pandemic.

The aviation division said on Thursday that the ATC radar service room was located at a distance from the existing control centre to ensure swift changeover and continuity of provision of much-needed air traffic services for the movement of aircraft to and from Pakistan.

The aviation division spokesman said the step was aimed at establishing a contingency area control centre in case the main ATC was required to be shut down temporarily. The required changeover time would be less than 30 minutes.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2020