ISLAMABAD: Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan has announced here today, following a couple of months closure, that domestic flight operations will resume from Saturday, 16th of May.
He informed that realizing the problems being faced by the people of Pakistan for the last two weeks the decision was taken during National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting. According to details PIA and Serene Air will resume limited number of flights between Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta: “Twenty per cent of pre-coronavirus flights will be allowed to operate and the seat occupancy in planes will be limited to fifty percent,” Aviation Minister told.
The passengers will be screened at the airports. Later their temperatures will also be checked before boarding. Moreover, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) had notified that private aircraft and cargo flights will be allowed to operate from all airports of Pakistan.
Earlier, CAA had decided that international flight operation from Pakistan will remain suspended till 31st of May, 2020. According to a notification by CAA: “As per the decision of the GoP, the suspension of International flight operations as effected earlier has been extended upto Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 2359 hours PST. Remaining provisions as applicable to the suspension of Int flights reflected in previous orders remain unchanged.”
Nevertheless, special PIA flights meant to repatriate Pakistanis stranded in a number of countries, will carry on operations. It is pertinent to mention here that Govt had suspended all international flights coming into Pakistan for two weeks.
The government had earlier suspended all international and domestic flight operations till 21st of April and then 30th of April, 2020 in order to contain the mysterious respiratory disease caused by the COVID-19. Earlier PIA had no policy to maintain physical distancing on board aircraft during the virus crisis. While flying from Pakistan passengers were forced to sit side by side, but while returning to the country PIA had to keep around half of seats in the planes empty.
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