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PIA allowed to operate more flights to Saudi Arabia

ISLAMABAD: With the special efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Saudi authorities have allowed Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate 21 more flights to the kingdom, ARY News reported.

According to details, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arshad Malik yesterday had informed the prime minister about the increasing number of passengers and problems being faced by Pakistanis travelling to KSA due to limited flight operations. He had requested PM Khan to resolve flights issue problem by discussing the matter with Saudi authorities.

Keeping in view the ongoing dilemma, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Overseas Pakistanis, have made contact with Saudi Human Resource vice-minister Dr Abdullah bin Nasser via video-link in which he appealed to the ministry to increase the number of flights to allay the grievances of the many people intending to go back to work.

The SAPM also requested to extend visas of Pakistan expatriates up to October 30.

Read More: Saudi Arabia announces to resume visa services from Karachi consulate

The Saudi government allowed PIA to operate more flights for Saudi Arabia after high-level contact made by the Pakistani foreign office. With the addition of 21 more flights in the system, the national flag carrier passenger capacity has increased to 25,500. All increased flights will leave for Saudi Arabia before September 31.

The PIA CEO has thanked President Arif Alvi, PM Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis, Zulfi Bukhari and Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar for resolving the issue.

It must be noted that PIA on September 15 had sought permission from the Saudi authorities to operate 28 flights to Saudi Arabia. However, the Saudi aviation department had allowed PIA to operate 13 flights.

The national flag carrier had cut back on its Pak-Saudi flights with operating just 23 flights to the kingdom in a week because of travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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