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Saturday May 18, 2024

Limited capacity of PIA flight leaves 53 Umrah pilgrims at Jeddah Airport

Now stranded at the airport, these passengers face difficulties and uncertainties as they await assistance

By Our Correspondent
April 16, 2024
A representational image of a plane operated by the PIA. — AFP/File
A representational image of a plane operated by the PIA. — AFP/File

LAHORE: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Jeddah to Islamabad has left 50 passengers stranded at Jeddah Airport due to the small size of the aircraft.

Now stranded at the airport, these passengers face difficulties and uncertainties as they await assistance. Urgently calling the higher authorities for help, they express their frustration and dismay over the distressing situation they have been left in.

Sources suggest that the main reason for the passengers being left behind was the limited capacity of the aircraft, resulting in inadequate space to accommodate all travelers. Despite efforts made to facilitate their boarding, logistical constraints ultimately led to this unfortunate outcome.

According to a PIA spokesperson, the passengers were provided with accommodation and basic facilities in a nearby hotel, while arrangements were made for their transportation to Islamabad.

The flight, PK-942, was originally scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on Sunday, with most of the passengers being Umrah pilgrims. However, due to the limited capacity of the aircraft, 50 passengers had to be left behind in Jeddah. In response to the situation, the spokesperson assured that a special plane would be arranged to transport all the passengers from Jeddah to Islamabad today.

The delay and inconvenience faced by the passengers prompted demands for intervention from the higher authorities. Furthermore, flights from Jeddah to Karachi and from Karachi to Islamabad experienced delays due to suspected irregularities in PIA’s flight operations.

These delays have left passengers irked at the national airline. The arrival of flight PK-732 from Jeddah to Karachi was delayed by more than four hours with multiple changes to the departure time.

The aircraft of the said flight was supposed to take flight PK-300 from Karachi to Islamabad. The flight, set to depart at 7am, was delayed for several hours due to the non-availability of the aircraft.

These incidents highlight challenges faced by both passengers and airlines, underscoring the need for improved operational efficiency and communication to ensure smooth travel experiences.