Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will take a decision on Wednesday (April 1) to allow two special repatriation flights of the national flag carrier for Canadian citizens. However, the decision to allow the PIA to fly special flights to three other international routes will be taken in the next few days.
A spokesman of the PIA told Business Recorder that the decision to facilitate the High Commission of Canada with two chartered flights would be taken by federal government on April 1.
“[The] PIA management has committed [to the] High Commission of Canada to facilitate with two chartered flights but confirmation will be given to them upon receiving directives from the federal government,” the spokesman added.
Few days ago, he said, the PIA management received a request from the High Commission of Canada for arrangement of two chartered flights for Canadian nationality holders. After thorough discussion, they were assured to provide the flights upon permission from the federal government.
He further said that the two chartered flights would carry 620 passengers to Toronto (Canada) and all the airline’s SOPs would be followed strictly under the prevailing coronavirus outbreak. For the Canadian citizens, the Canadian Government has arranged with Pakistan for an initial two special flights to repatriate Canadians due to COVID-19 pandemic.
These flights will be available for purchase by Canadian citizens. Canadian permanent residents and eligible immediate family members of Canadian citizens can buy tickets at a cost of Rs 325,750.
As per schedule the flights will take off from Karachi and Lahore to Toronto on Thursday (April 2). Tickets will be offered on a first come first served basis to those with valid travel documents. He further said that the decision to allow special flights to three other selected destinations including London, Manchester, and Birmingham would be take in few days.
On Thursday, the PIA cancelled special flights to four selected destinations including London, Manchester, Birmingham and Toronto.
Later, the PIA canceled the same despite sale of thousands of tickets. The special flights to Toronto, London, Manchester and Birmingham scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Pakistani ministers announced slapping ban on all kinds of international flights on March 21, 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but all of a sudden PIA was granted permission and it arranged special flights to only four destinations including three in the UK and one in Canada.