PIA's first flight lands in China after 6 months gap

By Zafar Hussain | China Economic Net Jun 11, 2022

XI’AN, Jun. 11 (China Economic Net) - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) operated its first flight to Xi’an, China on June 11, after a gap of 6 months due to Covid-19 control and prevention measures.

The PK-854 flight took off from Islamabad International Airport (ISB) on Saturday morning with 241 passengers on board and landed at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XIY) at 16:54 p.m. local time.

According to sources, PIA got permission from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and local authorities to operate its weekly commercial passenger flights from Islamabad to Xi’an and return from Beijing-Islamabad starting on Saturday.

It is worth noting that PIA operated its last flight to China on December 18, 2021.

After the COVID-19 Pandemic, PIA had only operating rights to Beijing station. Special landing permission was granted to PIA for Xi'an, sources told CEN, adding that unfortunately, Xi’an was also closed due to the pandemic spread there but now Xi’an is open to all international flights and PIA started its operation.

Well-placed sources said that PIA will get operating approval for Chengdu  next month, and Chinese authorities also granted an operating license for Guangzhou and when the pandemic situation is better, PIA will operate from all these stations on weekly basis.

Saif Ullah Anjum, a 15-year-old Pakistani passenger told China Economic Net that he is very joyful to travel to China via PIA.

"I'm going to China the first time. I'm very excited because I want to see my father who is in Beijing now and secondly I want to study & explore China. We waited for a long time for the PIA flight but I'm very happy on board,” Saif Ullah expressed.

Naeem Ahmed, a Pakistani businessman based in Shaoxing, China told CEN that it is good that the PIA flight resumed its operation to China after six months, and now the business community, students, and other visitors can easily travel to China.

"In order to prevent COVID-19 infection, strict measures have been taken by PIA," he added. He hopes when more flights operate the fare will decrease because currently it is too expansive.

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