Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is going to operate weekly flights from Lahore to Skardu and Gilgit next month.
It was revealed that PIA has decided to operate weekly flights from Lahore to Skardu and Gilgit from April. PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez while talking to this scribe said that Lahore would be included in the existing route between Islamabad to Skardu and Gilgit. “Initially, PIA will start two flights a week from Lahore to Gilgit and Skardu. More flights can be added keeping the number of passengers in view,” he added.
He was then asked about the earlier announced Karachi-Skardu flights on which he said that the flight cancellations due to uncertain weather conditions were delaying flight operations on this route.
“When a Karachi flight to Skardu is canceled after arriving in Islamabad, the passengers get stuck in the capital. PIA faces losses in taking them back to Karachi,” he maintained. “But in case a Lahore to Skardu flight gets canceled even before landing in the mountainous region, the national flag carrier can manage the situation by flying back to Lahore.”
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It would not be out of place to mention here that Arshad Malik, PIA Chief Operating Officer had directed the airlines’ sales manager last year in order to make arrangements for direct flights between Karachi and Skardu. The national carrier was to operate Airbus 320 twice a week flights between the port city of Karachi and Skardu.
However, it was decided that flights would be diverted to the Islamabad International Airport in case of bad weather. The PIA spokesman said that the minimum fare for flights between Islamabad and Gilgit/Skardu was Rs6,000. But contrary to his claims, the fare from Islamabad to Gilgit/Skardu ranges between Rs8,000 to 13,000.