All flights to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were cancelled on Sunday after the Kingdom placed a week-long ban on all international commercial flights.
In the aftermath of a second COVID outbreak in the region and after a new strain of coronavirus was identified in the United Kingdom, the ban was reinstated, the state news agency SPA quoted a source from the interior ministry.
“We’re closely monitoring and studying the new COVID-19 variant and the leadership has taken all precautionary measures to … assess the situation and understand more about this new variant,” Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said.
Ministry of Interior: Saudi Arabia Suspends All International Flights for Travelers, Except in Exceptional Cases, Temporarily for a Week, Which Can Be Extended for Another Weekhttps://t.co/4mmqmOFbYA#SPAGOV pic.twitter.com/OxvG5IjMma— SPAENG (@Spa_Eng) December 20, 2020
International flights already operating in the kingdom would, however, be permitted to depart. It added that access to Saudi Arabia through land and seaports would also be postponed.
All PIA flights to Saudi Arabia cities, Jeddah, Medina, Riyadh, Abha, and Dammam were cancelled due to non-clearance by the Saudi authorities, according to the PIA spokesperson.
The national carrier suspended 18 flights to and from the Kingdom on directives issued by the Saudi aviation authority, said a PIA spokesperson. “\These flights include PK-9739 and PK-9760.
The Pakistani carrier representative claimed that the flight operation from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia will remain suspended till the flight permissions are issued again. The moment we receive green signal we will immediately facilitate the affected passengers, says PIA representative.
Furthermore, a helpline number is also shared by the national carrier and asked the passengers to contact on the number 111-786-786 for any inquiry, information and guidance.