PIA suspends flight operations to Saudi Arabia following new COVID-19 strain

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

21st Dec, 2020. 10:27 am
PIA aircraft ATR 72

The national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Monday announced the cancellation of flights to and from Saudi Arabia following the new coronavirus variant.

According to the PIA Spokesperson, the suspension came following the cancellation of all international flights by General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) after the spread of a new strain of COVID-19.

A spokesperson said that PIA flights to and from Saudi Arabia have been cancelled from December 21.

PIA cancelled flights

The cancelled flights of PIA include PK-9739 and PK-9739 from Multan-Jeddah-Lahore, including other flights i.e. Lahore-Dammam-Lahore, Islamabad-Dammam-Islamabad, Lahore-Jeddah-Lahore, Karachi-Madinah and Madinah-Karachi, Lahore-Madinah, Madinah-Multan and Madinah-Multan and Karachi-Jeddah-Karachi.

In addition to this, the spokesperson added that the flights will remain suspended till the further orders of the Saudi Arabian aviation authority. After getting permission by GACA, the passengers will be adjusted into flights, he added.

On the other hand, the European nations have begun to impose travel bans on the UK after it reported a more-infectious and out of control coronavirus variant.

Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium are all halting flights. The measures vary and are initially short-term but the French rules also affect Channel freight. An EU meeting today morning will discuss a more coordinated response. The new variant has spread quickly in London and south-east England.

COVID-19 Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday confirmed 458,968 cases of novel coronavirus after fresh inclusion of 1,792 infections in the past 24 hours.

According to the statistics of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), coronavirus pandemic claimed 62 more lives last day bringing the national death tally to 9,392.

Moreover, 1,680 patients recovered from the virus during the last 24 hours and 2,403 patients are in critical condition including 38 new patients.

The total count of active cases is 40,491 and the positivity rate is recorded up to 5.15 per cent.

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