- PIA will have to take permission from China, India
Shaheen Air International has now decided to send its own aircraft for the rescue mission, the Civil Aviation Authority and private airline authorities confirmed.
According to the CAA spokesperson, the Shaheen Air’s plane will take off tonight, adding that the aircraft’s hosepipe has also arrived from abroad. This part of the flight was stuck in Customs clearance, the CAA added.
“We have decided to use our own plane. The part of the plane that was missing has also arrived. The engineers had to change this part of the plane. We hope to get the permission to fly after getting the part changed,” the Shaheen Air International added.
Some of the passengers have also reportedly fallen sick as they continue to await their return.
Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, taking notice of the matter of over 300 Pakistani passengers stranded in China, had ordered to hold the hearing of the case.
Earlier, it was reported that Shaheen Airlines on Sunday contacted Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to make arrangements for the rescue of more than 300 Pakistanis who are stranded in China’s Guangzhou city. And that the airline would have to take permission from India and China before flying.
As many as 300 Pakistanis were left stranded in 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 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 have continued to face immense difficulties amid blame game between the CAA and Shaheen Air.
A few of them have also reportedly fallen sick as they continue to await their return home for past seven days.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan said with the cooperation of Pakistani consul general, 214 passengers reached home through an alternate flight, whereas 46 preferred to return via Shaheen Air’s next flight.
The spokesman further explained that Shaheen Air flights scheduled for August 2 and 5 were also cancelled, and now several other Pakistani passengers have been stranded, in addition to the 46 previously left in Guangzhou.
Shaheen Air provided accommodation to these passengers at a hotel in Guangzhou, he said, where they are also being provided food.
The Pakistani consul general also met with the stranded passengers, the spokesman said, adding that the accommodation provided to them was comfortable and efforts were being made that they face no difficulties.
He said the consul general was constantly in touch with the passengers, Shaheen Air and Chinese officials.
Local officials of the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs have been fully cooperating with regard to the expiry of visas of some stranded passengers, the spokesman said.
He also said that Shaheen Air was making efforts for early return of stranded passengers.