The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued notice to five operators including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for canceling scheduled domestic flights.
In a statement on Tuesday, the aviation authority said that it has received several complaints that the airlines have been canceling domestic flights on the pretext of ‘operational reasons.’
“It has come to our notice through various public complaints and feedback forums that airline operators engaged in the operation of scheduled domestic flights within Pakistan have been canceling confirmed scheduled domestic flights,” it said.
The authority noted that these airlines, after canceling domestic operations, utilize spared aircraft to conduct international chartered operations in lieu of scheduled domestic flights.
According to the CAA, 383 domestic flights had been canceled from 1 to 18 October, making 33.4 percent of the total domestic flights.
“Prior to requesting any permission for international chartered flights, airline operators will submit an undertaking to this office that domestic flight schedule approved for any ongoing scheduling season(s) will be operated with a minimum flight regularity and punctuality of 90% and 80% respectively,” it added.
The authority clarified that the cancelation of domestic flights will only be allowed on technical reasons, confirmed by Airworthiness Directorate, or under ‘force majeure circumstances.’
“Commercial interest in operating international flight operations may be enticing in the current times but it is the duty of Pakistan CAA to uphold the spirit of public convenience and necessity,” it added.