PIA repatriates over 100,000 stranded Pakistanis from abroad

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PIA repatriates over 100,000 stranded Pakistanis from abroad

ISLAMABAD-Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has operated some 716 flights, from April 4 to June 16, carrying back home, a little over 100,000 Pakistanis stranded abroad due to COVID-19 induced pandemic, said the spokesman of the national flag carrier.

It was claimed that during the exercise first touch downs to a number of new destinations, operating directly to USA mainland, Australia, Africa, Far East and Central Asian Republics was also achieved.

Since the suspension of flight operation in March this year, hundreds of Pakistanis had been stuck abroad creating a serious humanitarian crisis, particularly in the wake of global economic shutdown. 

According to the spokesman the series of repatriation flights will continue, at the behest of Pakistan, as long as there is a need and all fellow citizens are safely brought back home.

The worst affected continues to be the countries in the Gulf and Middle East with the largest number of expatriate population struggling to get back home, PIA representative said.

He in this context further mentioned that with travel restrictions in the past, coupled with limited quota, and most flights being operated one way empty, the cost of operations were too high for all the airlines.

"Hence the government directed the national flag carrier to undertake the task while regulating the fares," said the spokesman also referring to measures being taken for 100% screening of all incoming passengers.