PIA plans direct flights between Karachi, Skardu – Pakistan

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is planning to operate direct flights from Karachi to Skardu and a safari flight from Islamabad to Skardu on the second day of Eidul Fitr.

A spokesman for the PIA said an Airbus A320 flight from Karachi-Skardu-Karachi would be operated to facilitate the residents of northern areas.

He said the Airbus flight for Skardu would take off from Karachi after making sure that the weather conditions are clear and the routine flight from Islamabad has landed in Skardu.

In case of bad weather conditions, the airbus flight will be diverted to Islamabad instead of returning to Karachi, the spokesman said, adding the flight time from Karachi to Skardu would be 2-1/4 hours.

He said the PIA was also planning to start flights between Lahore and Gilgit. Another flight from Lahore to Chitral may also be started in the next phase.

The spokesman said PIA was also planning to start flight operations from Karachi to Chitral and Karachi to Gilgit.

He said it will be for the first time that flights for northern areas will be operated from Karachi and Lahore, instead of only from Islamabad. The aim to expand the flight operations to northern areas was to promote tourism in the country in the light of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision.

The spokesman said PIA had planned to operate a safari flight from Islamabad to Skardu on the second day of Eidul Fitr.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority has given approval to ex-cricketer Ramiz Raja to travel to Pakistan from a category ‘C’ country as per intended travel itinerary.

Pakistan Cricket Board had requested the Aviation Division Islamabad for Ramiz Raja’s travel exemption to travel to Pakistan from South Africa for commentary of cricket series played between Pakistan and South African from March 26 till April 16.

Ramiz Raja is scheduled to travel to Pakistan on April 18 by a Qatar Airways flight to Lahore. South Africa has been placed in category ‘C’ due to a rise in Covid-19 cases and a ban has been imposed on passengers from that country.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2021