Limited home flight operations resume in Pakistan

Passengers sitting in an airplane observe SOPs as Pakistan resumes home flight operations. — RadioPakistan

ISLAMABAD: Limited home flight operations resumed within the nation from 5 main airports on Saturday, because the nation continued to steadily ease lockdown measures, reported Geo News.

The first Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight carrying 84 passengers departed from Karachi for Lahore at 1pm, together with flights for Lahore and Islamabad operated by a personal airline.

In a video assertion issued Friday, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had mentioned 20% of home flights would resume from Saturday, however in restricted capability. The announcement got here following a remaining resolution taken by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Thursday.

The 5 main airports allowed to restart operations embrace Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport, Islamabad International Airport (IIAP), Quetta International Airport, and Peshawar’s Bacha Khan International Airport.

Sarwar had mentioned social distancing will probably be adopted based mostly on obtainable seats and flights will solely be allowed to fill 50% of their full capability.

“Passengers will be provided the opportunity to travel safely,” he had added.

The move got here “in view of the difficulties being faced by passengers in travelling between major cities in Pakistan”, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) mentioned on Twitter.

The minister, it added, famous that the “Aviation Division has prepared very strict SOPs ensuring disinfection, social distancing and safety for the airline crew and passengers”.

Apart from social distancing, security measures embrace “disinfection of the aircraft prior to boarding, at least one vacant seat between the passengers, compulsory wearing of masks and use of hand sanitizer”. Furthermore, no meals or drinks could be allowed in flight.

Passengers will probably be required to fill well being declaration kinds earlier than boarding the airplane and subjected to thermal scanning on entry and exit into and from a metropolis. All baggage will probably be disinfected and no meet and greet will probably be allowed on the airport.

Drivers coming to select and drop passengers will probably be suggested to remain inside their respective autos within the car parking zone.

A spokesperson for the PCAA mentioned home flights will probably be operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and one personal firm for now. The nationwide provider’s administration mentioned tickets gross sales might begin as early as night right this moment.

The ban on worldwide flight operations, in the meantime, has been prolonged till May 31.

“Remaining provisions as applicable to the suspension of international flights reflected in previous orders remain unchanged,” the PCAA mentioned on Twitter.