"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.
Amad-ud-Din, a Pakistani expatriate, who came to the UAE as a young man in 1977, fell in love with vibrant Dubai and never went back. The popularity of Amad didn't stop at home.
Till to-date, around 4,900 stranded people were repatriated from Dubai, 1,200 from Abu Dhabi and around 2,000 Pakistanis repatriated through FlyDubai and Emirates special flights.
The airline will operate 21 weekly flights to Karachi (increased to 28 weekly flights starting from Aug.16); 10 weekly flights to Islamabad; 7 weekly flights to Sialkot; 10 weekly flights to Lahore; and 5 weekly flights to Peshawar.
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 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.
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.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has categorically denied any ‘backdoor diplomacy’ between Pakistan and India while lauding the role of the UAE leadership for 50 years of brotherly relationship with Pakistan.
Imran has also appealed to the leaders of rich countries, the UN secretary general and heads of financial institutions to give debt relief to developing countries like Pakistan so that they could combat the deadly COVID-19 in a better way.