KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots refused to bring back stranded Pakistanis from Iraq on Tuesday after two pilots and an air hostess of the flag carrier tested positive for corona.
This was also confirmed by a PIA spokesperson later in the day, who said PK 9184 that was to leave for Iraq in the morning with some 54 Iraqi nationals on board and carry back 161 Pakistani stranded in Baghdad had to be postponed.
It said the reason for the postponement in the flight was due to concerns expressed regarding the anti-coronavirus measures taken by the administration.
However, the spokesperson said that the national carrier will immediately start operations to bring back Pakistanis stranded in different parts of the world after successful negotiations with the Pakistan Airlines Pilots’ Association (PALPA).
“The matter now being resolved is expected to help departure of the same flight any time Tuesday evening,” he said mentioning that relief flight operation to bring Pakistani passengers stranded at Malaysia, Thailand and Dubai is also to be executed in next few days time.
To a query, he said PIA, like any other international airline is strictly committed to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) required in any pandemic like situation and that these have been further updated in face of COVID -19.
The PIA chief Air said that the safety of pilots and cabin crew will not be compromised.
The spokesperson said that PIA has also made adequate arrangements to keep in quarantine the passengers being carried back from abroad and is cooperating with the civic administration to ascertain their status against the corona virus disease through standard set of tests.