Domestic flights to be resumed soon: Minister for Aviation

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RAWALPINDI: Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said on Wednesday that it had been decided in principle to resume limited domestic flights as suspension of their operation will end on Thursday midnight.

However, he said a final decision in this regard wou­ld be taken at a meeting of the National Coordination Com­mittee headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The minister said the iss­ue of resuming domestic fli­ghts was discussed in det­ail at a top-level meeting held in Islamabad on Wed­nes­day. It was attended by chief ministers of the four provinces, officials of the Nat­ional Disaster Manag­ement Authority, health department and Gilgit-Baltistan.

“Due to public demand it has been decided in principle to resume domestic flights, but a final decision will be taken by the prime minister,” Mr Khan said, adding that he hoped the prime minister will allow resuming domestic flights.

He said the Aviation Division, along with the Pakistan International Air­lines, had planned to initially operate domestic flights to and from four airports — Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Quetta.

The minister said the construction industry, small shops and agriculture had already been allowed to resume business, and since Eidul Fitr was approaching, “we discussed the issue of small traders during today’s meeting to facilitate people ahead of Eid”.

“We are in a position to resume domestic flight operation, but our top priority is to save the lives of people from coronavirus. In this regard, SOPs (standard operating procedures) are being chalked out and Prime Minister Imran Khan will decide in the best interest of the people of the country,” he said.

After the outbreak of coronavirus, international and domestic flight operations had been suspended till April 30 to contain the spread of Covid-19. The suspension of domestic flights was further extended till May 7.

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