Aug 10, 2021: PIA has arranged special flights from Sialkot to Dubai.
To facilitate passengers traveling on the flight, Rapid PCR test will be provided at Sialkot Airport. These special PIA flights will depart from Sialkot for Dubai on August 12 and 13.
In view of conducting the test, passengers are requested to arrive at the airport at least 5 hours in advance.
It is to be noted that Pakistan recorded as many as 86 more deaths from coronavirus over the last 24 hours, pushing the national death tally to 24,004 Tuesday morning as the country battles the fourth wave of the pandemic. The positivity rate now stands at 7.84%, said the NCOC stats. On Monday, it was reported that Pakistan had been recording a slow decline in its daily COVID-19 numbers over the last few days.
Meanwhile, on its part, PIA has been expanding domestic flight operations with a new addition last month, when Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) started their flight operation from Multan to Skardu in order to promote tourism in the country.
On the special instructions of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PIA, Air Marshal Arshad Malik, the local officials said goodbye to the passengers. As a result of this flight operation, the people of South Punjab got direct access to the northern region of the country.
PIA now operates direct flights to Skardu from six cities. Direct flights are being operated from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot and now Multan.
For the first time in the history of PIA and Pakistan, six flights landed at the Skardu airport in a single day, yesterday. Skardu which is considered to be a remote area, received only five flights per week until last year.
However, as per the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and PIA, the number of flights have been increased to the northern area, a step to promote tourism in the country.
It is to be noted that last week passengers flying to the UAE were asked to show their PCR tests for COVID-19. Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to appeal to the UAE Government to consider results from antigen tests instead.
Despite the UAE easing restrictions for those coming into the country, there was no facility in Pakistan that can conduct immediate PCR tests, which resulted in thousands of expats being stranded at airports.
A letter signed by Suleman Ghouri, assistant director of air transport at the CAA, was sent to several officials, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In it, it was stated that while the CAA will ensure that all passengers returning to the UAE will have a valid negative PCR test conducted 48 hours before travel, at the current moment it was not possible to have a rapid PCR test done just before boarding.
Such a facility, at the moment, is unavailable in Pakistan. In its stead, however, an antigen test will be conducted 6 hours before getting onto the planes, and the UAE itself can also conduct any other tests it deems necessary upon landing at their airports.
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