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PIA Pilots Refuse To Bring Back Stranded Pakistanis From Iraq Due To Coronavirus Fears

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Rawalpindi: Pilots employed at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) who were to go to Iraq to bring back Pakistanis stranded there refused to show up for the scheduled flight on Tuesday.

Earlier, two pilots from PIA and an air-hostess were tested positive for the virus after they had flown in a Canada to Pakistan special flight to bring back stranded citizens.

PK-9813, travelling from Islamabad to Baghdad, was to fly back 161 Pakistanis who gathered at the Baghdad airport from various Iraqi cities.

The flight was supposed to leave for Baghdad at 5am on Tuesday morning, but was still to depart as of 12:00 noon.

The pilots had tried to protest earlier that they haven’t been provided sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) and hence unionized with Pakistan Air Line Pilots’ Association (PALPA) to express their concern.

The pilots reportedly did not arrive at the airport despite the PIA CEO’s and other officials’ assurance regarding provision of protective gear.

Similarly, in Turkey, hundreds of Pakistani citizens including students are stranded in Turkey, awaiting PIA’s flight plan to return home during a flight ban that is supposed to last till April 11.


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