Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has started its cargo operations to Saudi Arabia to boost its exports. PIA is already operating cargo operations to China. This decision to operate flights to Saudi Arabia came after Riyadh’s ban on passenger flights. The second wave of coronavirus and a new strain of Covid-19 discovered in the UK has resulted in a ban on passenger flights.
Exports to Saudi Arabia
Main exports, including fruits, vegetables, and meat, will be transported through air cargo. As a result, the total number of exports from Pakistan will increase significantly. According to a spokesperson from PIA, cargo fares are to be kept reasonable and attractive. The first cargo flight of PIA carrying 42 tons of cargo, departed to Jeddah earlier this week.
Temporary ban on passenger flights
Civil aviation of Saudi Arabia has issued a circular to all airlines operating in the Kingdom to suspend their operation temporarily. PIA immediately suspended their operations despite having a large number of flights. Islamabad International Airport has placed strict measures to control the spread of the virus. Every passenger arriving from the UK is subject to a COVID-19 test. A swab test and one week of quarantine are compulsory for passengers arriving from the UK.