Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will continue its operations from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan with mutual consultations with the ministries, to bring back stranded Pakistanis from different airports in Saudi Arabia, said a spokesman of the PIA on Wednesday.
According to the news, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night suspended entry for 20 countries, to the kingdom, except for diplomats, Saudi citizens, medical practitioners, and their families, to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The temporary ban, effective from February 3, bars people arriving from the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States, Britain, South Africa, France, Egypt, Lebanon, India, and Pakistan.
The spokesman of the airline said that PIA will bring back its passengers from all Saudi airports with special flights being operated for this purpose. He stated that the bookings of said Pakistanis travelers have been postponed until the ban is lifted and their bookings would be renewed when the flight operations are resumed.
Meanwhile, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said that its scheduled flights from Sialkot to Dammam, Multan to Madina, and Islamabad to Riyadh will operate as per schedule before the ban takes effect. Two PIA flights from Karachi to Jeddah and Lahore to Madina will also operate as per schedule, it added.
He further said that the airline has not received any notification from the Saudi Government yet, but it is expected to receive it today. The spokesman revealed that the suspension would be implemented from 9 pm on Wednesday and that it will include travelers who transited through the aforementioned countries within 14 days prior to their planned journey to the Kingdom.
The spokesman said that the decision was based on recommendations by Saudi health authorities. The kingdom, the largest among the six Gulf Arab states, has recorded more than 367,800 cases and 6,379 deaths so far, the highest tally in the region.