Ahmed Amjad Ali interacts with Pakistani passengers at Dubai International Airport. File
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
Pakistan Consulate in Dubai has confirmed to carry out the special repatriation flight operation till June 27 while the PIA has increased airfares for special repatriation flights.
In a video message, Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai and Northern Emirates has said that the Dubai mission in collaboration with its partners has facilitated 110 special flights from Dubai to repatriate around 22,000 stranded Pakistan till date.
"The Pakistan consulate has all set to carry out the special repatriation flight operation with PIA till June 27 as the government of Pakistan has announced to open its airspace for international flights. We have already finalised the schedule of around 20 additional special repatriation flights till June 27 to bring back additional 2,000 stranded Pakistanis,” he said.
He also informed the community that the PIA, the national carrier of Pakistan, has increased ticket prices and the new one-way fare for Peshawar is Dhs1470 and Dhs1,270 for Karachi.
"We are assuring the stranded community members that till June 27, the consulate will call the passengers to get their booking from Dnata office in Deira to pay cash or card while there is no travel agent in Dubai or Northern Emirates allowed to issue PIA tickets for special flights. Do not fall for any scam or transfer money to anyone for tickets as we are receiving complaints regarding the matter,” he added.
It is also pertinent to mention that the PIA on the directives of government of Pakistan had started repatriation through special flights from UAE since April 21 to fetch stranded Pakistanis.
Around 80,000 stranded Pakistanis registered with the country’s mission in the UAE to get back to their home after many were laid off from jobs or sent on forced leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, Pakistan government launched an initiative to facilitate all those who have lost their jobs abroad amid coronavirus crisis.
Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development announced launch of the online job portal, where all expats who have been laid off can register and avail benefits offered by the government.
Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, special assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development wrote in a Facebook post: "All those who have lost their jobs abroad can register on the following link: https://jobs.oec.gov.pk/returnees_overseas_registration. Government will put you on the priority list for re-employment. It also enables you to get certified training and provides you an opportunity to apply for financial assistance.”
"Tomorrow we will partially open airspace for international flights. This is being done specially to help our overseas workers who have suffered most in this pandemic but have shown great courage and made us proud," the prime minister said on Twitter.
“So far, 113,154 Pakistani nationals have been repatriated from different parts of the world. We thank all the governments of these countries for their cooperation in facilitating the repatriation of our nationals,” Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said.
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.
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.
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