Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has started flight operations to Dubai from Quetta and Sialkot airports.
With 165 passengers on board, the first Dubai-bound flight took off from the Sialkot International Airport on Sunday night. The national carrier will operate biweekly flights for the Gulf destination.
According to a PIA spokesperson, the airline held a simple ceremony at the airport for the first Sialkot-Dubai flight, PK179.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Usman Dar, Punjab’s Minister of Special Education, Chaudhry Ikhlaq, and Sialkot Airport Chairman, Khawaja Masood, attended the ceremony.
“Passengers were welcomed and seen off by guests along with PIA’s General Manager of Passenger Sales, Mohammad Shafique, Deputy GM of Passenger Sales, Ahmed Faraz, and other airline officials,” the spokesperson said. He added that a cake-cutting ceremony was also held at the airport and passengers were presented with flowers.
On the flip side, the Quetta-Dubai flight, PK232, flew from Karachi due to heavy rains and snowfall in Quetta.
National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Qasim Khan Suri, was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony. He said that the federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan is paying special attention to the development of the province, which was ignored by the past governments.
“The flight operation from Quetta to Dubai was a longstanding demand of the people,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker NA said that the federation had no intention to usurp the rights of any province, including Balochistan. He said that the people of Balochistan had the first right on its resources.
Commenting on the Reko Diq gold and copper mine, Suri said “an in-camera briefing of Balochistan Assembly members on the mine is a good step by the provincial government.”
PIA Balochistan General Manager, Bilal Afzal, and other company officials and business leaders attended the ceremony.