KARACHI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will arrange special flights to bring back stranded Pakistanis from Qatar, ARY News reported on Tuesday.
“Chief Executive Officer of the PIA Nayyar Hayat issued directives for operating special flights to Doha to bring back the stranded pilgrims. The PIA’s country manager has been asked to coordinate with the pilgrims there and make special arrangements for their evacuation,” said the PIA’s spokesperson.
He said the CEO further directed the head of the airport and marketing services to make appropriate arrangements to help the pilgrims and asked the PIA staff in Doha to stay in touch with the Pakistani embassy there.
The Pakistani pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia for Umrah via Doha got stuck there after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt severed their diplomatic ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting terrorism.
Subsequently, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE announced to cut all land, sea and air links with Qatar.
The unprecedented measures against Doha include ordering Qatari citizens to leave within 14 days and banning citizens of the three Gulf states from travelling to Qatar.
Doha airport, along with airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have become major hubs after Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways seized a significant chunk of transcontinental travel on routes linking Western countries with Asia and Australasia.