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PIA workers strike enters 4th day — flight operations remain suspended

KARACHI: The flight operations of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will remain suspended today on the fourth consecutive day, thus compounding miseries of the passengers and putting government claims to question, ARY News reported.

The Joint Action Committee of protesting PIA workers said the national flag carrier jets wont fly for another three days until Sunday.

At Karachi’s international airport, demonstrators waved placards and chanted slogans against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, calling on the leader to reverse a bill that converted the carrier into a public limited company.

Information Minister Pervez Rasheed had said yesterday that all PIA flights were operating as per schedule, however the PIA website showed cancellation of half of the flights in a day.

At least 20 PIA flights from Karachi could not operate today which were bound for Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Jeddah and London.

The PIA has also reached an agreement with private airliners Air Blue and Shaheen Air to fly passengers to domestic destinations until the PIA flight disruptions cease to exist. However, passengers complained they have not been apprised about the procedure to fly in other airlines.

The PIA workers protest turned into a violent clash when law enforcers including Rangers and police fired tear gas and resorted to baton-charge on demonstrators at Karachi’s Jinnah Terminal couple of days ago. Two PIA employees were also killed during firing by the law enforcement personnel, however Rangers and police have categorically denied that they used arms against the protesters.

In December, the government had announced it would complete the partial sale of the carrier by July, following years of crushing losses and mismanagement that have battered the airline’s reputation.

 

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