Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was granted permission to operate 88 special flights to Saudi Arabia during October to facilitate thousands of stranded Pakistanis in the kingdom due to the suspension of international flight operations following the coronavirus outbreak, Pakistani media reported, quoting a statement from a PIA spokesperson.
In this regard, a schedule has been set for the operation of 27 special flights from Oct 1 to Oct 10, 2020.
Spokesman for PIA Abdullah Hafeez said that the airline had sought permission from Saudi Arabia to operate 118 special flights during October. “The PIA has been granted permission to operate 88 flights to Saudi Arabia during October, 2020,” he said.
He said a large number of Saudi Iqama holders from Pakistan, who had been stranded in the country due to suspension of international flight operations, were taken back to the kingdom after it decided to partially lift the ban on international flights; earlier, Saudi authorities had granted permission to PIA to operate special flights to facilitate iqama holders.
The airline operated 93 flights until Wednesday and was able to transport 28,000 passengers during the first phase, which was 50 percent of the demand, and will be able to facilitate more than 47,000 passengers if permission to operate more flights in October is granted, he added.