Pakistan has also suspended its flight operation till April 30, the CAA said on Saturday.
The special flights will operate from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad and Peshawar, although international flight operation has not been restarted fully. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it was a limited flight operation.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has also suspended its flight operation till April 30, the CAA said on Saturday.
According to CAA, special/cargo and relief planes holding special approval would continue operations as per permission.
“As per the decision of the Government of Pakistan, the suspension of international and domestic flight operations as effected earlier has been extended upto Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 2359 hours PST,” CAA said.
The aviation division’s spokesperson said that due to limited facility of quarantine for passengers landing at Islamabad airport, a limited number of flights were being scheduled for other major cities as the quarantine facilities in those cities would be used.
The CAA has already issued its reviewed SOPs for international flights in order to ensure safety of passengers and crew (cockpit and cabin) and to minimise the risks associated with COVID-19 as all the passengers and crew would be subjected to a minimum of seven days’ quarantine period upon arrival in Pakistan and this period could be extended to 14 days on the basis of results.
Later during the day, PIA special flight PK-785 will be operated from Islamabad for London’s Heathrow airport. Another PIA flight PK-701 will take off from Islamabad for Manchester, PK-785 from Islamabad for Heathrow, and PIA flight PK-203 from Lahore for Dubai.
The PIA said another flight PK-213 will depart for Dubai from Karachi while another flight PK224 from Dubai will arrive at the Jinnah International Airport on April 19.
On April 19, PIA flight PK-8220 will depart for Dubai from Islamabad, while PIA’s return flight PK-8221 will arrive at Multan airport from Dubai on the same day.
The PIA flight PK-8223 will go from Islamabad to Dubai and will depart from Dubai to Faisalabad on April 19.
According to the schedule, PIA flight PK203 will depart for Dubai from Lahore and PK-204 will bring back Pakistanis stranded in the UAE to Lahore. On April 20, PIA flight PK-221 will be operated from Karachi to Dubai and PK-208 will return back from Dubai to Karachi.
The PIA said another flight PK-8222 would be operated from Multan to Dubai and PK-8223 would return to Multan from Dubai on April 20.
On April 21, PIA flight PK-895 will be operated from Kuala Lumpur to Lahore.
The British High Commission has released details of the charter flights scheduled to take 2,500 stranded British citizens back to the United Kingdom. In a statement, the mission said 10 charter flights would take around 2,500 British travellers from Islamabad and Lahore to London and Manchester.
No flights have been scheduled from Karachi to the UK.
This is the first time Pakistan’s national flag carrier will be operating direct flights to the US. Hafeez said before the 9/11 attacks, PIA planes did not have the capacity to fly directly to the US, which is why they had to make a stop somewhere.
Millions of rupees have been spent by the government on transportation, lodging and provision of food to Pakistanis who came back since the outbreak of the coronavirus and are being kept at quarantine centres in the federal capital.
PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said that two special flights, one PK-789 with 264 passengers on board has departed for Toronto from Lahore, while another flight PK-781 carrying 242 passengers has flown from Karachi to Toronto.
The PIA has already partially restored its international schedule, chartered and cargo flights under special approval by the government and has repatriated hundreds of Pakistani nationals from different countries.
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