Stranded Pakistani passengers arrive in Lahore from China

Stranded Pakistani passengers arrive in Lahore from China

Lahore (Staff Report): A special flight of Shaheen Air International (SAI) carrying 214 Pakistani passengers, stranded in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, arrived in Lahore on Monday.

Shaheen International Airlines sent a special flight to Guangzhou on Sunday night to bring back the Pakistani passengers who were stranded following the cancellation of an earlier flight on July 29 due to technical failures.

The fault left some 260 Pakistani passengers stuck at the Guangzhou airport. Some opted to fly back using different airlines.

According to the sources, the passengers on the SAI flight include 185 adults and 29 children.

In a statement released on Monday, the Foreign Office confirmed the special flight left Guangzhou Airport at 10:45 am hours.

The statement added the office had been monitoring the situation and helped facilitate the return through the Pakistani consulate in Guangzhou and the embassy in Beijing.

A spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Sunday said that the objection raised by the authority with regard to fitness of the airline’s plane scheduled to carry back home the stranded passengers had been addressed.

The passengers who left for home on the special flight appreciated the management of the airline for making all-out efforts for their repatriation.

They also acknowledged services of Consulate General of Pakistan, Guangzhou and Pakistan Embassy Beijing who remained in close contact with them on a regular basis and looking after their well-being.

All passengers stayed at Holiday Villa hotel near Guangzhou airport at the expense of SAI. They were looked after well and served with Halal food in the hotel.

It is pertinent to mention that Civil Aviation Authority stopped Shaheen Air earlier in July from using CAA facilities and services after the airline failed to clear its dues of Rs1.5 billion.

However, the CAA permitted Shaheen Air to bring the passengers back who had booked their tickets before the enforcement of the ban.

On August 2, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar took notice of the issue and ordered immediate repatriation of the passengers.