Stuck in China: 214 Pakistani’s get back home safely amid ailing flight operations and disputes

BEIJING: A Shaheen Air flight carrying over 214 Pakistanis, who were stranded at Guangzhou airport for over a week, reached Lahore on Monday.

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The Shaheen Air flight was earlier scheduled to reach Lahore in the wee hours.

Shaheen Air International decided on Sunday to send its own aircraft in aide of those stuck in China following reports that the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was sending one of its airplanes to bring back the stranded countrymen.

Earlier, it was reported that Shaheen Air had sought the help of PIA to bring back the stranded passengers.

As many as 300 Pakistanis were stranded at the Chinese port city of Guangzhou after their Shaheen Air flight was abruptly cancelled on July 29, following a dispute over payment of arrears totalling over Rs1.5 billion between the airline and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The airline’s international operations — except Hajj flights — were suspended several days ago by the CAA owing to the mounting debt.

The stranded citizens faced immense difficulties amid the corporate tug of war between the CAA and Shaheen Air. A few of them also reportedly fell sick as they waited to return home.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office of Pakistan breifed about the safe, secure and successful return of 214 passengers with the cooperation of the Pakistani consul general, whereas 46 more will preferably return via Shaheen Air’s next flight.

The spokesperson added that Shaheen Air flights to Guanghzou scheduled for August 2 and 5 were also cancelled adding to the tally of those stranded at the airport.

 

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