A health worker checks the temprature of a passenger at Karachi Airport.
International flights will remain suspended till May 31.
The first Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight carrying 84 passengers departed from Karachi for Lahore at 1300 local time (0800 GMT), along with flights for Lahore and Islamabad operated by a private airline, local media reported.
"In view of the difficulties faced by passengers in travelling between major cities, the Federal Government has allowed limited domestic flight operations from five major airports, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta with effect from May 16,” said a statement issued by the Aviation Division.
Domestic and chartered flight operations will require disinfection of the aircraft prior to boarding, at least one vacant seat between the passengers and compulsory wearing of masks and use of hand sanitisers. No food and beverages will be allowed during domestic flights, the statement added.
On Saturday, the Aviation ministry released pictures of passengers seated with a gap of a seat in the flights.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the country could not afford an indefinite lockdown and the nation would have to learn to live with the pandemic.
At a press briefing along with some cabinet members, Imran Khan said he wanted to tell the country’s medical community that lifting the lockdown was imperative to provide jobs to 25 million informal laborers and workers.
Pakistan has reported over 38,000 cases of infection from the new coronavirus, and 861 deaths.
Over 62,000 community members have been registered to seek repatriation as the regular flight operations have suspended since the COVID-19 pandemic declared in March earlier this year.
Aviation Division’s spokesman Abdul Sattar Khokhar said that the government has allowed the overseas Pakistanis to bring the bodies of COVID-19 victims back home but after following the guidelines of the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination.
The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight with 227 passengers, mostly from Dubai and Northern Emirates, were lucky to get seat confirmation earlier and boarded the flight which left Dubai around 7pm local time.
Pakistan also reported 4,734 new virus cases, raising its overall infections to 93,983. With the latest 97 virus-related deaths, the highest 24-hour increase to its fatalities, as authorities urged volunteers to motivate people to adhere to social distancing regulations to contain the spread of the virus.
With the Hajj Committee announcing full refunds of the fees for the ensuing Hajj 2020 season, the pilgrimage dreams of thousands of Muslim faithful are shattered.
The group were travelling through Badakshan province to assist security forces in the area, officials said. A local commander was among the fatalities, provincial governor's spokesman Sanaullah Rohani told the media.