KARACHI (APP): The Saudi authorities have allowed Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate 13 additional flights between the two countries with mandatory provision for adequate social distancing that restricts the passenger capacity to no more than 66% against the actual numbers of seats, said the spokesman of the national flag carrier.
Abdullah Khan in a statement here Tuesday said PIA had been operating its regular flights for Saudi Arabia, since September 15, however, infact steady surge was registered in the number of intending passengers, as aqama (residential permits) of many of the Pakistanis serving in the Saudi Kingdom are to expire on September 30.
“The flag carrier had sought permission for 28 additional flights,” he said.
Mentioning that each of the passengers flying to Saudi Arabia, via PIA, are already meeting the requirement of getting themselves tested for COVID-19 and only those with negative results are allowed to embark for journey, Abdullah Khan said PIA is absolutely committed to follow rules and regulations.
Despite the fact that these 13 additional flights are almost half of the demand registered on part of intending passengers, he said PIA is trying its level best to address the situation and that seats can still be booked through its booking offices and registered agents. According to him, PIA administration and the Aviation Minister have also approached the foreign ministry to help securing permission for additional flights between the two countries.
The passengers with “aqamas” expiring on September 25 were advised to get their tickets in next two days and those with September 30 after September 25 so as to help streamline the process and avoiding unnecessary inconvenience.