Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
The top officials as well as the staff of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) in Dubai are taking all precautionary measures to remain safe.
According to the media reports, Shahid Mughal, Country Manager PIA based in Dubai, went in self-quarantine after COVID-19 symptoms as he was in close contact with hundreds of community members who had gathered in and outside the consulate in Dubai to get their tickets for the flights arranged by the government of Pakistan to repatriate the desperate people.
This scribe tried many times to reach Mughal for further updates but all in vain.
The officials of PIA had been involved heavily to finalise the travel arrangements of thousands of Pakistanis ready to go home. The national carrier had established a special counter in the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai for weeks to assist the stranded community members from issuing tickets for the special flights between UAE and Pakistan. The top official, country manager, was frontline responder in this regard from overseeing the special counter in the consulate as well as assisting the travellers at the Terminal 2 of Dubai Airport. The PIA had arranged five special flights on the direction of the Government of Pakistan between Dubai to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad last week for around 1200 passengers. Among the passengers were mostly those who had lost jobs or were job seekers on visit visa, and elders.
It is also mentioned that the press consular at the consulate has confirmed that they have registered around 40,000 Pakistanis desperate to go back to their families. In which a majority are those who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus conditions for the various businesses in the country while there were a huge number of people who were visiting on visit visa reasoning vary to job seeking, leisure or others.
According to developments in the contest of special flights, the officials have confirmed that the PIA counter in the consulate has been suspended on the complaint by the passengers to forcibly purchasing tickets on 300 per cent to 400 per cent higher than the regular prices.
“The higher prices for one-way tickets for Dubai to Islamabad or other airports were due to the special flights which should be considered as ‘chartered flights’ as the government had arranged to devise a number of measures especially related to COVID-19,” said Abdullah Hafeez, PIA spokesperson while talking to local media in Islamabad while responding on the exorbitant prices of the tickets.
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