PIA is going to operate special flights to Doha, Qatar to help bring back stranded Pakistanis. The announcement was made in light of several Gulf Arab countries cutting off all land and air connections with Qatar because of political tensions.
This was revealed in a statement issued by PIA CEO Nayyar Hayat who ordered the commencement of special flights to bring back stranded Pakistani travelers.
He asked PIA’s Country Manager to Qatar to help out the stranded Pakistanis there. PIA’s officials in Doha have also been asked to contact the Pakistani embassy in the city.
Pakistani pilgrims headed towards Saudi Arabia for Umrah got stuck in Doha after several countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. These countries include:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Gulf States Cutting Ties With Qatar
According to news reports, Saudi Arabia has cut all land, sea and air contact with Qatar. Doha called the decision ‘unjustified.’ The above mentioned countries blame Qatar for supporting the jihadist groups (including some backed by Iran) aiming to destabilize the Middle East region.
The move has affected Qatar’s food supply, 40% of which comes through Saudi Arabia. Reports indicate that Iran is going to provide the food for the time being.
It should be noted that Qatar has the largest US air base in the region and is also on track to host the 2022 edition of the Football World Cup.
PIA Flight Stuck in Paris
In other news, passengers on board PIA flight PK-770 heading to Barcelona from Islamabad was stranded at Paris. The Boeing 777 aircraft carrying the passengers suffered a technical fault.
Another flight carrying a team of engineers and equipment for repairing the Boeing plane was also delayed due to Benazir Bhutto International Airport being closed at that time. The airport was closed off for cleaning.