RAWALPINDI: Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has imposed a ban on serving meals during all domestic flight operations - chartered and private - as coronavirus cases in the country continue to rise.
Passengers and crew members have also been asked to wear face masks throughout the flight.
In pursuance of the authority’s directive, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has discontinued serving hot beverages like tea or coffee on domestic and international flights so that interactions between members of the crew and passengers could be limited; prepackaged cold beverages will be served during the flight instead.
According to PIA, this move is a part of new standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) amid the virus’s second wave in Pakistan, however, passengers will be allowed to bring their own meals if they wish to.
All domestic flight operators have been asked to ensure strict adherence to SOPs; the NCOC has also directed CAA to ensure that a proper mechanism is formed to monitor whether these health guidelines are being followed.
The Airport Security Force (ASF), airport management, airline management, flight crew and CAA have also been directed to coordinate and cooperate effectively in this regard to prevent further spread of coronavirus.
The virus’s second wave can be curbed if SOPs are implemented in true letter and spirit and all authorities concerned unite to make that happen.
Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2020