Aviation

Home-coming Pakistanis stuck up at Beijing airport as PIA flight cancelled after crew member tests corona positive

None of the PIA staff is available at Beijing airport to arrange alternate flight or accommodation; the national flag carrier operates single flight once a week; Pakistan Embassy too didn’t respond positively

Majority of passengers are student who have checked out of hostels after completing studies and their visa is about to expire    

Sindh Courier Report

Beijing: All the passengers aboard the PIA flight PK-855 Beijing to Islamabad are stuck up at Beijing airport since Saturday as the flight was cancelled after one of the crew members tested Covid-19 positive.

It is said that after the crew member was found Covid-19 positive, all the crews were placed under quarantine. However, no PIA staff was available there to inform the passengers about the situation and make alternate arrangements for their journey back home.

Pakistani passengers stuck up at Beijing airport lounge

The PIA flight PK-855 was scheduled at 16.30 on Saturday which was delayed and rescheduled at 18.30 and again at 1am Sunday and finally cancellation notice appeared on electronic board.

“The passengers became aware of the flight cancellation only through electronic board,” Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah Bukhari, hailing from Khairpur Mirs, Sindh, and doing Ph.D. in China, told Sindh Courier from Beijing airport on phone. He had come to the Beijing airport to see off his family.

PIA- Flight-Beijing-Sindh-Courier-3PIA- Flight-Beijing-Sindh-Courier-4“Soon as the passengers learnt about the flight cancellation, they tried to contact PIA staff but none was available and no person was there even at any of the 17 counters,” he told.

Mr. Bukhari said they contacted the Pakistan Embassy a dozen of times on phone but the reply was that they cannot help.

“There were many Pakistani students and their family members on the flight, who have become panicky after having learnt that one of the PIA crew members had tested Covid-19 positive at the Beijing airport,” he said.

“There is not a single staff of the PIA available to explain the situation. The visas of many students are about to expire within a week. The problem is that most of the students have checked out their hostels after completing the studies and cannot go back there. The problem for others is that going back travelling back to their universities located in remote cities would put huge financial burden,” he said.

“In any case, all the Pakistani passengers will have to wait for a week for next PIA flight, as our national flag carrier operates only one flight a week,” Mr. Bukhari told adding that it was the responsibility of PIA to arrange alternate flight and the accommodation for the passengers till next flight, as it is charging double fare but has not been providing accommodation in hotels.

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