Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has exponentially raised the price of a one-way ticket from Pakistan to China to about Rs. 500,000, which is unaffordable for Pakistani students studying in China.
Other airlines have also hiked their airfares that are now ranging from Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 800,000 for a one-way trip, which is affecting the students in particular, media has reported.
The hike has reportedly resulted from the coronavirus restrictions that remain in effect in China.
The issue concerning Pakistani students has also gone viral on social media and has been covered by the country’s mainstream media outlets. The affected students have also started a top trending hashtag ‘#PIALootingPakStudents’ on Twitter.
Dr. Asmat Malik, a member of the Pak-China Student Council, said that a five-hour direct flight from Pakistan to China on Boeing 777 costs around Rs. 550,000 while the same flight from China to Pakistan costs Rs. 130,000.
She asked the Minister of Aviation, Khawaja Saad Rafique, and PIA’s CEO, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Amir Hayat, for an explanation for such disparities in ticket prices.
Dear PM @CMShehbaz PIA looting passengers. 5 hours direct flight fare charges 550k, Pak to China. Same flight from China to Pakistan 130k, @amarshadmalik @KhSaad_Rafique could you explain this difference. Boeing 777 capacity 300 why you booked 100 seats?#PIALootingPakStudents pic.twitter.com/RPJowoNNSU
— Dr.Asmat Malik (@dr_asmatmalik) September 14, 2022
Note that a regular one-way ticket fare to China was around Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 70,000 before the pandemic but this massive hike has agonized both the students and their parents.