A blizzard in Toronto has caused a delay of more than 36 hours for a PIA flight bound for Lahore.
The flight, PK 798, was initially scheduled to arrive at Lahore airport at 8:45 pm on Saturday but is now expected to land today.
Social media footage shows the plane waiting on the tarmac during the snowstorm. Passengers were reportedly kept on board for six hours at Toronto airport before being offloaded on the instructions of Air Traffic Control (ATC), which had closed the airfield.
The PIA management has come under fire for its handling of the situation, with the airline reportedly incurring expenses for catering, aircraft parking, and hotel accommodation for passengers due to the delay.
Media reports claim that the flight should have been canceled due to the forecast of a snowstorm, but the PIA management failed to take action.
Furthermore, the delay caused the PIA crew’s duty time to exceed the prescribed limit, prompting the airline’s GM flight services to allegedly offer extra payment to staff in order to operate the flight. When staff refused, the GM allegedly threatened to place them on a no-international-flight list.
In response to the criticism, a PIA spokesperson stated that the airline did not receive advance notice of the blizzard and that the crew was not asked to exceed the prescribed duty time.