Dubai: Dubai-based budget airline flydubai is operating two special flight from Dubai to Faisalabad and Peshawar on Tuesday (today) to repatriate Pakistani prisoners released from the UAE jails.
According to an official at Pakistan Emabsssy in Abu Dhabi, special flights will carry Pakistani prisoners who were released from jails recently. Most of them were involved in petty crimes or have completed their prison term.
A flydubai spokesperson did not divulge specific information about the special flights. However, the spokesperson in a statement to Gulf News said: “We are fully supporting governments and authorities across the flydubai network with their repatriation efforts helping them to make arrangements for their citizens to return home.”
Flydubai’s online booking portal also shows flight operation from Dubai to Faisalabad on Aprl 14. According to the online flight schedule, the flydubai special flight from Dubai to Faisalabad will take off at 5pm arriving at Faisalabad International Airport at 8.30pm local time in Pakistan. The return flight will take off at 9.30pm arriving at Dubai International Airport at 22.50pm.
According to sources, all tickets for the prisoners were paid by the UAE authorities concerned and there are no other regular passengers on this flight. The return flight will also carry 11 members of the UAE Embassy staff.
A Pakistan Embasshy official, however, said that special flights to repatriate the stranded Pakistanis in the UAE will also start soon. “It is a matter of days only that Pakistan government will start evacuating its stranded citizens from the UAE,” he said, adding that preparations to receive the flights are in final stages. More than 25,000 stranded Pakistanis have registered with the Pakistani missions demanding to go back home. They mostly include those who came to the UAE on visit visas or those who lost jobs or cancelled work permits.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority letter
According to a letter issued by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority: “The UAE government through flydubai has requested permission to operate a flight between Dubai and Faisalabad on April 14 to transport 180 stranded Pakistani nationals to Faisalabad and on return to transport 11 UAE Embassy staff.
“The request to flydubai to operate the requested flight between Dubai and Faisalabad has been approved by the competent authority.
“The permission is subject to the condition that no disembarkation of flight crew shall be permitted from the aircraft upon arrival th Faisalabad.
“The permission is subject to full compliance with Operational Standards Operating Procedure related to International Flights.”
Pakistan Foreign Minister
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday told a parliamentary panel that around 40,000 Pakistanis were currently stranded in different counties amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that as per data collected by the Foreign Office through its missions abroad, the total number of Pakistanis stranded was 39,748 and a majority of them were in Middle East. They are stranded because of the suspension of flight operation in Pakistan.