Cancellation of foreign flights adds to agony of Pakistani citizens
Karachi: People seeking to enter Pakistan or leave the country are facing hardship and mental agony due to the cancellation of their flights by several foreign airlines in wake of capacity restrictions.
The foreign airlines scheduled extra flights and took bookings to Pakistan presuming ease of travel restrictions by authorities. However, they had to cancel them when the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) maintained its travel curbs. No more than 20 per cent of the normal air traffic from the world will be allowed, barring a few exceptions, reported Dawn.
The NCOC had increased the capacity for only direct international inbound flights from Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Malaysia and some other countries to 40 per cent of the normal volume of passengers from July 1.
Passengers who were irked by the flight cancellations took to social media to vent their anger. The airlines did not give them the reason behind flight cancellations and passengers held the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) responsible.
"My family has had flights cancelled twice in a span of a week @qatarairways and for now they aren't able to adjust before July 26th," tweeted a social media user.
'Same thing happened with us Turkish airlines canceled the tickets and they saying Pakistan Govt banned their operations from July 1 to July 18," said another Twitterati.
In view of the outrage, the CAA issued a statement to clarify its position, blaming foreign airlines for cancellations, reported Dawn.
"CAA has taken notice of the excessive booking by foreign airlines for Pakistan. The responsibility of booking and suspension of flights lies on the airline concerned as CAA has nothing to do with cancellation or overbooking," the authority claimed.
Meanwhile, an official of Qatar Airways told Dawn some of its flights had been cancelled to comply with the NCOC's restrictions.
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesperson said due to the limited number of flights operated by Gulf-based carriers, a large number of Pakistanis were unable to travel to Pakistan from Doha and vice versa. (ANI)