Islamabad: The number of flights arriving in Pakistan between May 5 and 20 has been reduced by 80 per cent, after which the number of weekly flights of international airlines will be reduced from 590 to 123.
The decision was taken by the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC)— Pakistan’s Nerve Centre to synergize and articulate a unified national effort against COVID-19.
Some other conditions and SOPs have also been introduced for travellers coming inwards which must be complied with.
According to the new schedule issued by Civil Aviation and reported by a local media outlet in the light of the instructions given by the NCOC, 40 out of 189 flights would be allowed to land at Karachi, 29 out of 130 at Lahore, 25 out of 120 at Islamabad and only 6 out of 33 flights will come to Peshawar.
Only two of the 10 international flights are scheduled for Quetta Airport, five of the 24 flights for Faisalabad, eight of the 43 flights to Sialkot and eight of the 41 flights to Multan will be able to land.
Apart from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Air Blue and Serene Air, 29 international airlines operate flights to Pakistan from different parts of the world.
In light of the NCOC's decision, the number of flights of respective carriers has been limited by the same proportion.
Fly Dubai operates the most weekly flights to Pakistan, numbering 78, which has been reduced to 16.
Fly Dubai has reduced 22 of its 28 flights to Karachi and are allowed only six flight. Reducing seven to one for Quetta, three to 14 for Faisalabad, two to 11 for Sialkot and four to 18 for Multan.
The second-largest international airline is Saudi Arabian Airlines, which has a total of 77 flights, will now be reduced to 14.
The Saudi airline will operate four of the 21 scheduled flights to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, while only one of the seven flights to Peshawar and Multan will be able to operate.
Emirates Airlines operates 67 weekly flights to Pakistan, which has been reduced to 13.
The UAE has allowed seven out of 35 flights for Karachi, two out of 10 for Lahore and Islamabad, one out of five for Peshawar and one out of seven for Sialkot.
The number of Air Arabia's weekly approved flights is 60, which has been now limited to 12.
Air Arabia has four out of 21 for Karachi, one out of three for Lahore, one out of two for Islamabad, two out of 10 for Peshawar, one out of three for Quetta and Faisalabad, Sialkot and Multan. One of the seven flights allocated is allowed.
The number of Qatar Airways approved weekly flights to Pakistan is 56, which has now been reduced to 11.
Qatar Airways will operate three of the 14 flights scheduled for Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, three, while it will operate one of the seven flights for Peshawar and Sialkot.
Gulf Air operates 35 flights a week to Pakistan, which has now been reduced to eight.
Gulf Air will be able to operate two out of 10 flights to Karachi, four to Lahore and Peshawar, one out of four, three out of three to Islamabad and one to three. Of the five flights to Sialkot and six to Multan, only one has been allowed to land.
Similarly, the number of 32 flights approved by Etihad Airways has been reduced to six.
Ittehad Airways normally receives seven flights at Karachi Airport, of which only one will now be able to land. It will operate two of the 11 flights to Lahore and three of the 14 flights to Islamabad.
Turkish Airlines has a total of 21 flights, limited to three. Only one flight will be able to land in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad instead of seven.
Only three out of 11 flights of British Airways, three out of 18 flights of Oman Air, four out of 18 flights of Saudi Gulf, three out of 18 flights of Thai Airways and two out of 11 flights of Virgin Atlantic Airlines will be operated weekly.
In addition, out of the international flights of local airlines, in the next two weeks, ie from May 5 to May 20, only 30 flights will come to Karachi from different countries of the world, out of which 29 will be from PIA and one from Air Blue.
A total of 80 international flights of national airlines will arrive at Lahore Airport, including 55 PIA, 15 Air Blue and 10 Sareen Air flights.
The highest number of 105 flights will land in Islamabad out of which 76 will be from PIA, 19 from Airblue and 10 from Sareen Air. A total of 51 flights have been allowed to land in Peshawar, including 41 for PIA and 10 for Air Blue.
A total of 26 flights will arrive at Multan Airport, of which 17 will be for PIA and 9 for Air Blue, while the four international flights to Turbat will be operated by PIA.
The NCOC will review the situation again on May 18 and make decisions accordingly.