PIA and Qatar Airways to repatriate British citizens stranded in Pakistan

British government, on Friday, announced that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Qatar Airways will airlift 2,500 British citizens stranded in Pakistan amid COVID-19 outbreak and its resulting travel ban.

Qatar Airways has announced that it will operate chartered flights between Islamabad and London from April 21 to April 23. While flights between Islamabad and Manchester are scheduled between April 24 to April 27. Additionally, flights from Lahore to London are scheduled on April 22 and 24 while another flight between Lahore and Manchester is expected on April 26.

PIA is expected to begin its flight operations to and from Britain from April 19, however, no further details have been issued yet.

PIA will also operate flights from Lahore and Islamabad to London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Earlier, Dr Christian Turner – UK’s High Commissioner in Pakistan, had announced that the flights would cost around £527, whereas previously were being sold for over £1500 by travel agents.

British government has been coordinating with PIA and Pakistani government to repatriate its citizens who have been left stranded in Pakistan due to travel restrictions amid COVID-19 pandemic.

“I know how stressful and difficult the suspension of Pakistan’s international flights has been, leaving so many British travellers unable to get home. There has been a huge effort from the teams across the Pakistan network to help people to return to the UK,” said Dr Christian Turner.

Around 400 Pakistani nationals are currently stuck in Britain, while more than 7,000 Britons are stranded in Pakistan according to British government.

The decision comes after CEO PIA and UK High Commissioner held detailed discussions over the issue of stranded citizens on the directions of Minister of Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar khan.