Civil Aviation Authority issues notification extending till April 21 the suspension of all flight operations in the country
While the federal and provincial governments deliberate on whether or not to extend the ongoing movement restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country, Pakistan’s top aviation body on Thursday announced it was extending the suspension of domestic and international flight operations till April 21.
“As per decision of the Government of Pakistan, the suspension of international and domestic flight operations as effected earlier has been extended up to Tuesday, April 21, 2020,” read a notification issued to Airmen by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The CAA had on March 21 announced an initial suspension for two weeks of all international flights into and out of the country. That suspension was set to end on April 4. On April 1, the CAA issued a new notification, extending its earlier suspension till April 11.
During this period, the CAA said that diplomatic, special/cargo flights and flights of national carrier to/from Pakistan holding special approval from the competent authority for transporting stranded passengers would be exempt from the ban. In recent days, a few special flights have been arranged to bring back Pakistanis stranded in foreign countries. Any travelers are tested upon arrival and advised to maintain quarantine for two weeks even after they test negative for COVID-19.
The CAA notification comes as the number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Pakistan has hit 4,601, with the majority now occurring through local transmission. Most countries have implemented travel restrictions, including banning flights from countries with rising numbers of coronavirus patients, to curb the spread of the deadly disease.
Globally, the virus has now infected more than 1,605,200 people, with over 95,750 reported deaths. Governments across the world have halted flights, locked down towns and cities and urged people to stay at home. Overall, around 356,900 patients of the 1.6 million+ infected have recovered thus far.