After having been suspended for nearly two months, a limited domestic flight operation began on Saturday, May 16 from Karachi airport when two flights one operated by the national carrier PIA and the other by a private airline Serene Air -left for Lahore and Islamabad, respectively.

The government had on Friday, May 15 announced the resumption of the domestic flight operations from Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, and Quetta airports due to growing demand and ease in coronavirus restrictions across the country.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Airport Security Force had made elaborate arrangements to ensure social distancing during boarding, check-in, and disembarkation. It was mandatory for every passenger to wear a mask while entering the airport. In the aircraft, one seat each was left vacant between every two passengers.

The CAA said that the domestic flight operations would be expanded gradually. At present, on a weekly basis, a total of 68 flights are scheduled to take off from Karachi airport, 32 each from Islamabad and Lahore airports, four from Peshawar, and six from Quetta airport. Before the suspension of the domestic flight operations, 369 flights used to depart from Karachi to different parts of the country on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, a PIA press release said that its domestic flight operations partially resumed from Karachi. Flight PK-8304 carrying 84 passengers took off from the Jinnah International Airport and landed at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore and returned to Karachi with 100 passengers as flight PK-8305.

`The PIA is strictly following government regulations of social distancing.
Wearing masks and keeping space has been made mandatory for passengers during travel and their temperatures were checked before and after the flight,` the press release said.

It said both flights were supervised and managed by Karachi and Lahore Airport Station Managers, Ahmed Alam, and Ali Asghar Zaidi, and their respective teams.
As per the CAA`s directives, all PIA aircraft were being thoroughly disinfected before departure of flights, it added.
The PIA will operate one daily flight on the KarachiIslamabad-Karachi, and Karachi-Lahore-Karachi routes, whereas a weekly flight on Karachi-PeshawarKarachi, Karachi-QuettaLahore routes and back i.e.

Similarly, one flight per week for the sector KarachiQuetta-Islamabad and back had also been scheduled for flight operations, it said.