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Pakistan-UAE flight suspension: Rebooking, refund options announced

Dubai - Eid flights to Pakistan will continue, airlines said.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

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Published: Mon 10 May 2021, 2:52 PM

Expats who have booked tickets with Pakistani airlines may rebook their trips or request refunds, considering the upcoming suspension of flights from Pakistan to the UAE.

The UAE announced earlier today that it is suspending the entry of travellers from Pakistan — as well as Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka — starting 11.59pm on Wednesday, May 12.

Private sector airlines airblue and Serene Air said they would continue their Eid flights to major cities of Pakistan as the latest development has not restricted Pakistan-bound flight operations.

However, flights for those coming back to the UAE will remain uncertain at least for two weeks, according to aviation sources.

“We will continue our flights for Pakistan till Eid as per plan, but I am not sure about post-Eid operations from Pakistan to the UAE,” Sohail Sheikh, country manager of Serene Air in the UAE, told Khaleej Times.

Abbas Raza Dar, country manager for Pakistan’s second biggest airline airblue, said the airline would operate its Pakistan-bound flights and devise a strategy in line with the revised instructions announced by the UAE authorities.

“I don’t think we will be able to operate special flight operations like last year. We may have to revise the flight schedule if there is a demand with revised guidelines issued today,” Dar told Khaleej Times on Monday.

Both airblue and Serene Air said affected passengers can rebook their tickets or take refunds if they want to change their travel plans.

“We will facilitate the passengers as per standard policy to either refund their full ticket amount or rebook their flights without an extra cost,” the airlines’ officials said.

International flights to Pakistan have already been restricted to 20 per cent since May 5 and the cap shall remain in place until May 20, as directed by the country’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

“Pakistan’s NCOC will review the international flight operations on May 18 after strict lockdowns to contain spread of coronavirus in the country. The flight operations will quickly rebound if the NCOC softens the tough conditions on international flights,” sources said.

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