Friday, February 4, 2011

PIA cancels flight to repatriate Pakistanis in Egypt

Demonstrators wave the Egyptian flag as a helicopter flies over Tahrir Square in Cairo. PHOTO: AFP
KARACHI: Two flights scheduled to fly to Cairo today to bring back Pakistanis from Cairo were cancelled on Thursday just hours after being announced by Pakistan’s national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

PIA spokesman Mashood Tajwar confirmed the flights had been cancelled.
The Foreign Office (FO) had not given the airline the required clearance for the two flights, Ahmed Jung, reporting for Express 24/7said.
He said that there was some sort of communication gap between the airline and the Foreign Office, adding that the FO had failed to make the arrangement for Pakistanis to get to the Cairo airport.
Tajwar also said that the flights to repatriate the Pakistanis will be rescheduled in the two to three days.
Egypt is in the midst of a popular uprising that erupted after the Tunisian president was forced to leave his country by protesters.
Earlier today, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced that it would to send two special flights to Cairo to repatriate Pakistanis stuck in Egypt.
Jung said that there were 665 passengers, mostly from Islamabad, were awaiting these flights in Cairo.
The Pakistan embassy in Cairo earlier said that there are around 150 Pakistani families living in Egypt.
The defence ministry had been asked to bring back stranded families and non-essential staff of the embassy by Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday.
Several countries, including the United States and India, have already sent commercial airplanes to Cairo to bring back their citizens from Egypt.
Tens of thousands of protesters have said they will go ahead with plans for a massive demonstration on Friday, their designated “departure day” for Mubarak.

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