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April 9, 2021

Avoiding red list limitations: 4,000 passengers in record 14 flights left for UK on 8th

National

April 9, 2021

ISLAMABAD: It was highly unusual activity at the Islamabad International Airport Thursday as 4,000 passengers departed for two different destinations to the UK in a single day for avoiding red list limitations. According to data available with The News, as many as 14 flights of different airlines and especially chartered flights departed for Heathrow Airport, London and Manchester in a span of 17 hours starting from 1.15 am in the wee hours of Thursday. As per careful estimates, these 14 flights carried a little over 4,000 British nationals of Pakistani origin and others who were desperate to land in the United Kingdom before 4 am (UK time) on April 9. The flight operation started with departure of BA-260 at 1.15 am and completed with PK-9787 which left for Manchester at 18.35 pm. The 14 flights which left for the UK included five PIA flights, three British Airways, one Virgin Atlantic and five other special flights. The unrest among passengers increased due to up to six hours delay in departure of last two chartered flights of PIA. The last two flights PK-9785 and PK-9787 left for Manchester within a gap of five minutes instead of given time of 12 noon. Similarly, another PIA special flight which was scheduled to leave for London at 13.50 hours departed Islamabad Airport at 18.20. A large number of passengers were queuing up outside, eager to enter the airport building along with their luggage. “It was a hectic day for my family, which thanks to Almighty Allah, managed to get seats for Manchester,” family member having booked seats in PK-9787 said.