RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has allowed providing iftar meal boxes to passengers’ onboard domestic flights during Ramazan.
The authority has issued a directive to all scheduled and chartered airline operators (domestic) in this regard.
Serving meals and beverages onboard domestic flight operations within Pakistan was forbidden by the PCAA in light of the surge in Covid-19 cases in Pakistan. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) including wearing of face masks throughout the duration of flights within Pakistan and to limit interaction between passengers and crew have been in place. However, in order to facilitate air travel during Ramazan, the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) has allowed provision of iftar meal boxes to passengers during domestic flights. The boxes will only be handed over to passengers at check-in counters, PCAA stated.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), in a safety alert, has advised its cockpit and cabin crew not to fast during flights. The airline administration has issued a safety alert in this regard.
“Although, while it is perceived that flying with fasting is a possibility, in such a case the element of risk is considerable and margin of safety minimal. In an emergency with multiple complexities, wrong and delayed actions may result in serious consequences due to impaired judgment and incapacitation.
”While fasting, one has to go for a change in normal routine. Therefore, fasting and flying may not be confined to religious reasons as there are defined relaxations on fasting while travelling,” the safety alert stated, adding fasting is known to cause dehydration, slowing of reflexes, deterioration of judgment and lowering of stamina.
After considering all facts objectively, it’s clear that flying an aircraft while fasting is not only risking your own life but that of others too, in the aircraft and on the ground.
Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2021