Mazhar Abbasi
Mazhar Abbasi, PIA Area Manager for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, says that the airline has resumed regular flights from Pakistan to UAE from July 9. Image Credit:

Dubai: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced to resume regular flights for passengers from Pakistan to UAE with effect from July 9.

The PIA’s move will help stranded UAE residents in Pakistan to travel back to UAE. Regular flights from Pakistan to UAE remained suspended from March 21 as part of the COVID-19 preventive measures.

UAE is the first country, which has given PIA permission to operate two-way regular passenger flights.

“We have launched our full flight operation between Pakistan and UAE from July 9,” Mazhar Abbasi, PIA Area Manager for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, told Gulf News. From Pakistan, passengers will now be able to travel from all the international airports including Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan and others.

Travel conditions

Passengers travelling from Pakistan to UAE will have to meet two main conditions. They are required to produce negative COVID-19 test reports carried out 96 hours before the travel date and the approval from the UAE government for travel.

A PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez also confirmed that the PIA would resume its regular flight operations to the UAE from Thursday and tickets are already up for grab.

PIA earlier started operating one-way regular flights from UAE to Pakistan on June 27. Earlier, it operated special repatriation flights from UAE to Pakistan from April 18 to June 27.

How to book

The PIA said the passengers could now book and purchase their tickets through PIA offices, corporate website and its travel agents. Passengers will also be required to fill health declaration form available online.

Abbasi said that PIA has so far repatriated more than 70,000 including 27,000 stranded Pakistanis from the UAE on special flights since April 18. He said the airline has been operating regular flights from June 27 and tickets are now available at the PIA office and can also be purchased from the travel agents.

Emirates flights

The UAE-based Emirates airline has already resumed passenger services to Pakistan’s four main cities — Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot and Islamabad. However, all passengers travelling from Pakistan must carry negative COVID-19 test report from a laboratory approved by Emirates. The report should not be more than 96-hour-old. The airline had temporarily suspended flights to and from Pakistan on June 24 following cases the announcement of some COVID-19 positive cases among passengers flying on Emirates to Hong Kong.

“The health and safety of our crew, customers and communities remains our top priority. Emirates has put in place a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey on the ground and in the air, to minimise the risk of infection spread,” the airline said in an earlier statement.

Emirates also said that passengers travelling from Pakistan to Dubai and beyond on Emirates must present a negative COVID 19 PCR test result certificate at the time of check-in. The PCR test must be taken up to four days prior to the travel date (96 hrs maximum) and must be conducted at the Emirates authorised Health Centre below at the passenger’s expense.

Emirates will only accept COVID-19 PCR tests done at Chughtai Labs which are located in all big cities of Pakistan.

UAE permission to travel

All passengers travelling from Pakistan to UAE must obtain permission before purchasing tickets. Passsengers will have to apply for permission through these websites

ICA: http://beta.smartservices.ica.gov.ae/echannels/web/client/default.html#/login

GDRFA: http://smart.gdrfad.gov.ae/Smart_OTCServicsPortal/ReturnPermitServiceForm.aspx