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Two CAA officers stopped from travelling to Pakistan from US

KARACHI: Two officers of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have been stopped from travelling back to Pakistan from a flight of a foreign airline from the United States (US), ARY News reported on Wednesday.

The CAA officers including inspectors of flight standard Masood Elahi and Shahzad Anwar have reportedly reached the Texas airport without undergoing coronavirus screening tests which led the foreign airline administration’s refusal to issue boarding cards to them.

Both passengers were willing to travel to Dallas to Karachi and Lahore en route Doha through the flight.

The spokesperson of the aviation authority told media that both officers have undergone coronavirus tests, however, boarding cards were not issued by Qatar Airways’ administration due to conduction of their tests other than the required laboratory.

Later, the boarding cards were issued to the CAA officers for the next flight after they underwent COVID-19 screening tests from the prescribed laboratory. The spokesperson added that the officers departed for Pakistan from the next flight.

The action is followed by the imposition of Rs100,000 fine by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) against Qatar Airways over non-compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) against novel coronavirus.

The aviation authority had taken punitive measure against Qatar Airways last week for violating the COVID-19 SOPs after a passenger from Mozambique to Karachi flight, QR-604, was transported despite being tested positive for coronavirus.

Besides imposing fine, the aviation authority had stated in its letter that the foreign airline will also bear complete expenses for the testing and quarantine of the passengers. It added that any recurrent violation of COVID-19 related SOPs shall be dealt with in a more stringent manner including but not limited to revocation of operating authorization granted to Qatar Airways for flight operations to and from Pakistan.

In the global synergetic drive to curb the spread of COVID-19, CAA had issued SOPs for international passengers travelling from chartered and private aircraft to Pakistan which made it mandatory to possess negative RT-PCR testing certificate from point of original departure for category B listed countries prior to commencement of journey.

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