PIA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has resumed its flights to Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates after 18 years.
“A modest ceremony was held at RKT airport attended by PIA Country Head #UAE, Pakistan Council General & Chairman @RAK_AIRPORT Authority to celebrate the event,” the PIA said in a tweet.
PIA already operates flights from all major Pakistani cities to different cities of the UAE including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. However, its flights to Ras Al Khaimah, known for its stunning landscape and pristine beaches, from Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi are expected to facilitate more Pakistani expatriates returning to work in the Gulf state after months of passenger flight suspensions imposed by the UAE authorities.
Earlier on August 5, the UAE lifted a ban on transit passenger traffic from Pakistan, India, Nigeria and other countries. However, it still requires travellers from these countries to present negative COVID-19 PCR tests with a validity of 48 hours before departure from UAE-approved laboratories.
To facilitate Pakistani passengers traveling to the UAE, Pakistan set up PCR rapid testing facilities at all international airports in the country. The rapid PCR test can determine a COVID-19 case even before a person becomes infectious, making it possible to isolate such individuals on time.
Other types of tests detect viral proteins, revealing the coronavirus presence in a person’s respiratory system at the peak of the infection.
Over 1.6 million Pakistani expatriates live in the UAE and work in different public and private departments, remitting over $4 billion annually to the South Asian nation.
Meanwhile, the first Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight landed at Kabul airport on Monday after the end of the foreign troop withdrawal; however, it was not clear if it was classified as a regular commercial flight or a special commercial charter.
The PIA spokesperson confirmed that a commercial flight from Islamabad landed at Kabul airport. Flight # PK-6249 departed from Islamabad and landed at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport at 10:15am.
The flight of the state airline would later carry people from Kabul to Islamabad holding valid travel documents.
Afghan Civil Aviation and local PIA personnel made special arrangements to restore services at the airport with Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan and other diplomatic staff playing a vital role in the effort.
PIA Chief Operating Officer Air Commodore Jawad Zafar was present on the plane as a representative of the airline’s Chief Executive Air Marshal Arshad Malik.
Earlier, the national flag carrier had taken international journalists to Kabul and brought back a team of the World Bank and international news agencies
Air Marshal Malik had said that this operation was very important for PIA and the whole world as everyone was looking at us to restore contacts. Hopefully, we will be able to fully restore the operation soon, he added. – TLTP