–Domestic flight operations to be enhanced from June 1
ISLAMABAD: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Friday announced that Pakistan will resume international flight operations from May 30 (Saturday).
“As per decision of the federal government, the outbound international flights (scheduled, non scheduled and charter flights) operation has been allowed with effect from 2359 hours tonight,” said Spokesperson Aviation Division Abdul Sattar Khokhar.
In a statement, the spokesperson added that both national and foreign airlines will be allowed to operate from all international airports of Pakistan except Gwadar and Turbat.
“SOPs for outbound international flights have already been issued according to which airlines will be required to follow the SOPs of the destination country.”
Keeping in view the current situation, the statement said that congestion at airports will not be allowed and planes will be disinfected.
In March, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspended all international flights in the wake of the novel coronavirus. A month later, the government extended the suspension of international and domestic flight operations till April 30 in line with the national strategy to stem the spread of novel coronavirus.
However, during that period, PIA resumed its relief flights to repatriate stranded Pakistani nationals.
The government has also decided to enhance the domestic flights operation from June 1, which was partially restored on May 16, after almost 56-day suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It has been decided to further enhance domestic flights operation from previous 20-22% to 40-45% of the pre-COVID19 operations,” a spokesman for the Aviation Division said.
He said the decision had been taken due to growing business and public demand for air travel and effective smart lockdown being observed by the federal and provincial governments to contain the virus spread.
“The decision is also the outcome of peoples’ confidence due to best possible health precautions being adopted both at airports and by the airlines during flights,” he said.
The spokesman said the enhanced flights operation would start from June 1, and cover Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.
On May 15, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had formally announced to restore the limited flights operation from the next day at five major airports of the country including Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar.
Initially, almost 20 per cent of the total pre-coronavirus flights were allowed to operate under certain standard operating procedures (SOPs) including screening of every passenger with thermal guns, ensuring wearing of face masks and gloves.
On May 20, the government had allowed to operate one additional flight daily on Karachi-Islamabad-Karachi route till end of the current month, keeping in view the increased passenger load.