ISLAMABAD: Shaheen Air International (SAI) flight carrying as many as 214 Pakistanis, who were stranded at Guangzhou airport in China, reached Lahore airport, Foreign Office (FO) said on Monday.
Although most of the passengers of July 29 flight had opted for full-refund and took other commercial flights, however, some passengers decided to wait for the next SAI flight.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that our Embassy in Beijing and Consulate General in Guangzhou played an active role in resolving this crisis. As soon as news of the cancellation of the flight was received, our Consulate established contact with the passengers and Shaheen Airline officials,” the FO said in a statement
The FO further said throughout this time, the Consulate remained in touch with the passengers, SAI and Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) of Pakistan and China to ensure smooth stay and return of these stranded Pakistani passengers.
The strength of the Consulate personnel at Guangzhou was enhanced at the special instructions of the Foreign secretary who personally monitored the situation and also liaised with the government departments for resolving the crisis, the statement added.
The passengers were stuck in China due to non-availability of an aircraft since July 26.
On Sunday, SAI decided to send its own aircraft for the rescue mission, the CAA and private airline authorities confirmed.
“We have decided to use our own plane. The part of the plane that was missing has also arrived. The engineers had to change this part of the plane. We hope to get the permission to fly after getting the part changed,” the Shaheen Air International added.
Some of the passengers had reportedly fallen sick as they waited for their return.
Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, taking notice of the matter of over 300 Pakistani passengers stranded in China, had ordered to hold the hearing of the case.
Earlier, it was reported that Shaheen Airlines on Sunday contacted Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to make arrangements for the rescue of more than 300 Pakistanis who are stranded in China’s Guangzhou city. And that the airline would have to take permission from India and China before flying.
As many as 300 Pakistanis were left stranded in the Chinese port city of Guangzhou after their Shaheen Air flight was abruptly cancelled on July 29, following a dispute over payment of arrears totalling over Rs1.5 billion between the airline and the CAA.