Pak govt mulls restoring regular flight operations

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)

Islamabad, (Asian independent) The Pakistan government has been considering restoring regular flight operations after April 4 and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued the Airline Operational Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the April 4-11 period, according to a spokesman

Spokesman for the Aviation Division Abdul Sattar Khokhar, who is also a senior joint secretary, said on Wednesday that “a final decision has not been taken yet” on the restoration of flight operations, reports Dawn news.

He, however, confirmed that the CAA has issued an advisory to ensure the safety of passengers and crew members to minimise the risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic and recommended some preventive measures in case a decision is taken regarding resuming regular flights.

The government had suspended operations of all international passenger flights, and chartered and private inbou­nd flights to Pakistan from March 21 to April 4.

According to the SOP, the planes will be disinfected in accordance with rules prescribed by the CAA before passengers’ boarding, with the process to be logged in aircraft documents.

A passenger health declaration form will be distributed to all potential travellers inbound to Pakistan through the CAA website, social media and through the airlines’ websites.

The form is required to be filled and signed by all passengers or guardians (in case of infants/disabled) before check-in at the port of embarkation, the SOP added.

According to the SOP, the passengers are to comply with the instructions during travel to Pakistan which are in addition to other instructions mandated for safe air travel or as given by the cabin crew from time to time during the flight, Dawn news reported.

The CAA said after the completion of boarding, the senior purser/lead cabin crew will take a picture of each aircraft zone displaying passengers seated with mask and gloves on.

The photograph will be submitted to the CAA staff concerned electronically/through WhatsApp.

The airline will maintain copies of these images in its record.