Following the new COVID strain, Saudi Arabia has permitted one way flight operations for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
According to the details, despite a one-way permit, PIA will operate flights for Pakistanis stranded in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi government has allowed one-way flight operation to Pakistan due to new COVID strain.
A unilateral operation on the PIA will be a financial burden, but the return of Pakistanis stranded there is also inevitable. However on the directives of CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik, PIA will launch flight operations on Monday.
PIA has always had always stood and worked effectively in difficult times. Bringing back Pakistanis stranded abroad is a national responsibility, CEO PIA said.
On the other hand, decision regarding foreign travelers to Saudi Arabia has not yet been announced yet.
According to Saudi Aviation spokesperson, Airlines will be required to implement on COVID-19 SOPs during air operations.
Airlines crews will not be allowed to disembark and have physical contact with ground staff, the spokesperson said.
Relevant airlines will be bound to contact the Air Transport Department about SOPs before operating flights, he added.
Earlier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had announced the cancellation of flights to and from Saudi Arabia following the new coronavirus strain.
The suspension came following the cancellation of all international flights by General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) after the spread of a new wave of Coronavirus outbreak.
Pakistan Bans 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.
On the other hand, the European nations had begun to impose travel bans on UK after it reported a more-infectious COVID strain.
Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium have halted 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.