Pakistan suspends international flights till March 28

Pakistan International Airline (PIA) planes are positioned on the tarmac at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad on October 10, 2012. PIA have planed to reopen its flights for Swat valley which was shut down in 2007 due to the security situation. AFP PHOTO/Farooq NAEEM

KARACHI: International flights from Pakistan have been suspended by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) till March 28. This move comes into effect from Sunday at 8 pm.

This does not mean that Pakistani airspace has been closed, clarified PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan.

He said the move is to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Many cases in Pakistan were reported in people who had travelled to the country from abroad.

The spokesperson said that all flights are being cancelled and tickets will be refunded. If people want to change their tickets to a date after March 28, there will be no charges, he said.

After March 28, the airline will decide if it wants to extend this closure.

It is currently sending messages and contacting passengers about the cancellations.

Khan said the move was also partially in response to Pakistan’s requirment for all incoming passengers to have coronavirus test certificates, which had caused confusion and difficulties.

We’re going to stop flights until a policy is formed, and maybe things will be better in a week, he said.

He asked people to wait a couple of days to change their tickets. When flights normalise you can re-book them with no additional charges, he said.

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