RAWALPINDI: Pakistani airlines, including PIA, are awaiting the restoration of facilities at Du­bai airport, and PIA will promptly resume its air operations once the situation improves, the flag carrier’s spokesperson said on Thursday.

The torrential rains in the Uni­ted Arab Emirates over the past three days have flooded runways, severely affecting flight operations at Dubai International Airport.

The PIA spokesperson said that stormy weather in Dubai and Sharjah had impacted air operations significantly, leading to the cancellation of 22 flights from Pakistan to Dubai since April 16.

Passengers on cancelled flights are being accommodated on the next available flights on a priority basis, he said, adding that more flights were being planned to repatriate passengers stuck in Dubai, the spokesperson said.

<CAA chief holds e-kutchery, confirms ASF taking action against employee who manhandled child

He said that passengers whose flights had been cancelled should contact the PIA call centre for flight information.

Meanwhile, during his address at an e-kutchery, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) Dire­ctor General Khaqan Murtaza de­­s­­cribed the situation caused by rain in the UAE as “unprecedented”.

In response to a query about recent flight delays to and from the Middle East, he attributed the disruptions to record rains in the UAE, which resulted in flooding at airports and chaos in flight operations.

E-kutchery

Mr Murtaza chaired the 44th e-kutchery on Thursday, during which he and his team received 67 comments or queries covering topics including corroded trolleys, expansion of Allama Iqbal International (AIIAP) Airport, alleged extortion and bribery at airports, HR-related issues, and UAE weather-induced flight cancellations among others.

The issue of long immigration lines at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport (JIAP) has been raised with the prime minister and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), he explained, noting that CAA had allocated 20 counters to FIA and failure to adequately staff these counters was leading to lengthy queues.

He also mentioned that, according to the FIA, once it addresses its staffing problems, the queues will significantly decrease.

The DG confirmed that the Airport Security Force (ASF) had taken action against an employee involved in the manhandling of a child at JIAP, and the PCAA is following up the matter with the ASF.

Regarding Lahore’s AIIAP, the DG informed that measures have been taken to meet the growing number of passengers, but the fact is the airport has reached its design capacity.

He also instructed the airport manager of Islamabad Interna­tional Airport (IIAP) to investigate a complaint about money extortion in the parking lot, allegedly by police or police traffic wardens.

In response to another complaint, the DG emphasised that food prices at Islamabad airport must align with the price list.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

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