US embassy charters flights to evacuate citizens next week

ISLAMABAD (TLTP): The US Mission to Pakistan Thursday announced that it has arranged additional chartered flights which will depart from Karachi and Islamabad to Washington Dulles (IAD) next week.

The US Embassy in Islamabad in a health alert said that these flights are for US citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been unable to return to the United States because of suspension of international flights from Pakistan.

“We are unable to offer flights from Lahore, so the US citizens and lawful permanent residents currently in Punjab should plan to travel to either Islamabad or Karachi for a flight,” said the statement.

It asked the US citizen to remain prepared, saying, “Over the next several days, we will be contacting people who completed our traveler interest form to confirm seats. We need to speak to you directly, so monitor your phone and pick up.  If we contact you to offer a seat and you decline, please be prepared to remain in Pakistan indefinitely.

The statement asked the US citizens to keep in mind that these flights are not free.

“Travelers are required to sign an “Evacuee Manifest and Promissory Note” which will be provided once we confirm your seat. By completing and signing this form, the traveler is agreeing to be added to the official flight manifest as well as agreeing to reimburse the US government for costs associated with the flight. Cost would be approximately $1000 from Karachi and $1450 from Islamabad per person.”

The statement advised the travelers to must make their own way to either Karachi or Islamabad airport. “We are working with Pakistan authorities to try to facilitate access to the airport, but this may not be possible given movement restrictions,” it further said.

The statement said that keeping all health precautions in mind, at the Washington Dulles (IAD) airport, travelers?will be subject to entry/exit and health requirements.

Similarly at the airport, health screening may be conducted by Pakistani health authorities and any passengers exhibiting fever or flu-like symptoms will be denied boarding, the statement warned the US citizens.

Earlier, the US Embassy in Pakistan on Sunday last said that 600 Americans have been evacuated to the United States from Pakistan on April 10 and April 12 through two special flights.

The embassy said that it prioritized citizens who were the most at risk for coronavirus complications. It asked to US citizens to register themselves with the embassy for their safe return to the United States.