The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to resume its flights to Saudi Arabia in order to bring stranded Pakistanis back to their homeland. The decision was taken after the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) allowed international airlines to operate in the kingdom and also granted foreigners the permission to leave the country.
The PIA Spokesman, Abdullah Hafeez, speaking at the occasion, said that though the one-way trips would be a financial burden on the national carrier, bringing the stranded Pakistanis was also an important national responsibility.
The GACA announcement comes as a huge relief to the dozens of Pakistanis who were left stranded there. The country had previously suspended all international commercial flights for a week in December. The PIA had also been forced to cancel 44 scheduled flights to and from the kingdom.
The GACA issued a circular which granted the permission and also carried a few instructions regarding precautionary measures, “The foreign airlines permitted to operate flights for this purpose must not allow crew to leave the aircraft and not to physically contact ground operation staff of the arrival airport, taking into account precautionary measures to prevent spread of Covid-19.”