The Government of Pakistan is trying to increase the number of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) international flights to facilitate thousands of Pakistani citizens who are stranded abroad as foreign airlines cancel their flights.
A report by ARY News said that the government is trying to get PIA to use bigger airbus planes and increase its flights. “The government is mulling to convey directions regarding an increase in flights and use of big aircraft to the PIA aimed at facilitating the stranded Pakistanis,” it revealed.
Foreign airlines had booked extra flights while expecting relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions. However, after the meeting of the National Command Operations Centre (NCOC) on 29 June, some flights had to be canceled as the NCOC had decided against easing the restrictions.
Pakistanis had booked tickets at higher than usual rates but certain foreign airlines had canceled their bookings, and thousands of Pakistanis in Turkey, Qatar, and the USA are bearing the brunt. After Pakistan’s decision to limit international flights because of the pandemic, the Turkish and Qatari international airlines canceled their scheduled flights from the United States to Pakistan on 1 July, leaving Pakistanis stranded in the USA. The arrival of these flights had been scheduled for the first week of July.