Dubai: Emirates airline and Qatar airways have cancelled some Karachi-bound flights after Pakistan’s aviation regulator extended its restrictions on inbound flights.
An Emirates Karachi flight, which was scheduled to depart at 7:50 am on July 1, is shown as cancelled on the airline’s website. The Dubai-based carrier has also cancelled the July 2 morning flight to Pakistan’s most populous city.
Meanwhile, a Qatar airways flight to Karachi, which departs Doha at 10:50 am, has been cancelled until July 6.
Due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, PCAA (Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority) has curtailed inbound international flight operations to 20 per cent of the actual summer 2021 schedule, with effect from May 5, 2021 and extended up to July 15, said PCAA in a tweet.
As per Etihad’s last update, the airline will reduce passenger flights between Abu Dhabi and Pakistan until further notice. “The Pakistani government has issued updated travel directives extending the limit on the number of international passengers allowed to travel into Pakistan,” said the Abu Dhabi-based airline on its website.
The flight cancellations have sparked anger and confusion among Pakistanis who were looking to fly back home.
“Ticket canceled thrice now. Is the government waiting for the complete eradication of COVID before allowing us back to our homeland? Sanity should prevail,” said a Twitter post.
“We are suffering because of these flight cancellations. Everything is on stake due to this restriction. Please remove this (these) restrictions and let us go,” said another post
PCAA has hit back saying that “the sole responsibility of commercial rescheduling of flight operations to Pakistan rests solely and completely on concerned foreign air carriers.”