ISLAMABAD: As the nation continues its fight against the coronavirus pandemic with another consignment of vaccine from China scheduled to arrive on Sunday (today), the government has not overlooked the Pakistani travellers stranded in other countries after some international airlines cancelled their flights.
Presuming ease of travel restrictions by the authorities, the airlines had sched-uled extra flights to Pakistan and made bookings as well but then cancelled those flights af ter the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) maintained travel curbs considering the rise in Covid cases in some areas.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) took up the matter with five international airlines, directing them to accommodate the passengers on the earliest possible flights of the same or any other airline to Pakistan besides hotel accommodation and payment of damages to passengers.
The CAA also cautioned those airlines that it would be constrained to initiate regulatory action against them, which may include financial penalty, cancellation of one or more flights and revocation of schedule authorization.
In its letter to five airlines i.e. Qatar Airways, Turkish Airline, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Fly Dubai, the CAA took up the issue of inconvenience caused to passengers by flight cancellations. `It has been seriously noted that a huge number of passengers have been affected by flight cancellations of your airline to Pakistan in recent weeks. Keeping in view the imposition of flight operation restrictions (i.e. 20pc of approved inbound scheduled flight operations) since 5th May 2021 and subsequent periodic extensions of the restrictions which were duly communicated to the airlines through timely NOTAMs, the reservations made by your airline after 5th May 2021 or such passengers on such flights, were unjustified,` stated the aviation regulator.