During lockdown in 2020, SereneAir was the only Pakistan registered air carrier that not only operated to its capacity but also flew special charter flights to Dhaka, Kabul, Nanjing and UAE carrying personal protection equipment for the COVID-19 and stranded overseas Pakistani from the UAE.
It was not immediately clear which routes and air carriers would be affected. The NCOC added the decision would be reviewed on May 18. Inbound air traffic will operate at 20% of the total current quantum, while there is no change in the existing Category C list countries.
According to details shared by the CAA, Qatar Airways was previously allowed to operate 56 flights in a week, which is now minimised to 11, followed by eight flights allowed to Gulf Air as compared to 35 flights previously in a week.
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.
The curbs do not tamper with cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
People intending to come to Pakistan or leave the country have been facing hardship and mental agony because of cancellation of their flights by several foreign airlines due to capacity restrictions.
Pakistan has lifted a rule barring the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for people below 40 years old, in a bid to help inoculate people who need to travel for education or jobs abroad, particularly Saudi Arabia, a health official said.
The newly appointed Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE, Afzaal Mahmood, recently visited the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD), a community centre with multiple facilities, and appreciated the community for their support in the construction and running of modern facilities in Dubai.
The outbound flights from Pakistan to the UAE have been suspended since May 12 after the UAE announced suspension of entry for travellers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka as part of the COVID-19 precautionary measures.
Many Pakistani expats are shelving their travel plans as uncertainty prevails over suspension of Pak-UAE flights due to pandemic. Similarly, Pakistanis stuck back home are worried about their jobs and have requested the authorities concerned to lift the travel ban as soon as possible.