Airblue, Shaheen Air to fly affected PIA passengers

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has reached an agreement with local private carriers, Airblue and Shaheen Air, to fly PIA passengers with confirmed tickets as the national flag carrier’s flight operations remain suspended against the government’s proposed plan to privatise the organisation.

Passengers can contact PIA service counters at airports to convert their tickets to those of the private airlines, said a press release.

The service however, will facilitate passengers booked to travel to Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Dubai, Muscat, Jeddah and Riyadh only, according to the statement.

As for passengers holding PIA confirmed tickets for other international destinations, the statement said, they can contact PIA staff in their respective countries to have their tickets converted for travel “in various international airlines”.

The airline is also negotiating with Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines to facilitate passengers going to and coming from Europe, America and Canada, a PIA spokesman earlier told Dawn.

PIA management has also arranged four Boeing 747 jumbo planes to bring back hundreds of Pakistani pilgrims stranded in Jeddah because of cancellation of PIA flights.

The cash-strapped airline has lost nearly Rs1.8 billion, according to a spokesperson, since the announcement of the strike.

Over 150 PIA flights have been cancelled in past three days during the strike.