GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Haji Gulbar Khan has expressed concern over extraordinary delays and frequent cancellations of PIA flights to the region, particularly during peak tourism season.

In a letter sent to federal Minister for Aviation Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Saturday, the GB CM criticised PIA for its erratic flight schedule to Gilgit and Skardu airports, terming it irresponsible behaviour and demanding that the minister ensure regular flights to both airports.

“These cancellations have not only caused significant inconvenience to the residents and visitors of the region but also severely impacted the ability of the Gilgit-Baltistan government to meet its commitments at the federal level,” he lamented.

He said air travel is the primary mode of transportation for officials and representatives of the GB government to attend crucial meetings, conferences, and other engagements in Islamabad and other parts of Pakistan.

In recent months, he added, there has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of cancellations, delays, and unreliable scheduling with PIA flights.

“This has had a profound impact on travellers, both domestic and international, causing inconvenience, financial loss, and heightened anxiety among passengers, CM Khan said.

The chief minister further emphasised that the lack of prior notice regarding these cancellations aggravates the issue, leaving passengers with minimal time to make alternative travel arrangements. This has resulted in missed opportunities, delayed projects, and a significant erosion of trust in PIA’s reliability as the national airline.

CM Khan requested the federal government and the aviation minister to address this issue promptly.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2024

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