The strike has affected 300 passengers in Oman until now as PIA could not operate five of their flights in the past two days.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) began shutting down services on Tuesday in solidarity with the victims after a violent confrontation between striking employees and law enforcers near the company’s headquarters in Karachi.
Shazad Paracha , the country manager for PIA in Oman told Muscat Daily, “We are busy accommodating all the passengers by giving them alternatives.The passengers who have booked with us are our responsibility and we have provided them with three options of either refunding their total amount of money, changing the seat to another date or accomodating them with a seat in another airline.”
He added, “We are not taking bookings at the moment as we are accommodating passengers. Our airport office is facilitating the passengers and is working for the past two days for 24 hours. My team has been looking at accommodating people in the best possible way. Fortunately, our passengers have been cooperative and understand the gravity of the matter. We have contacted the passengers to discuss alternate options and we are hopeful things will be sorted soon.”
PIA operates as many as 15 weekly flights from Muscat to Pakistan, covering major destinations like Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot, Peshawar, Gwadar and Turbat with direct service.
Danyal Gilani, official spokesperson for PIA told Muscat Daily, “The national flag carrier has incurred an estimated loss amounting to Rs2 billion since last week as the employers protested against government’s proposal to privatize the airline. We have made an alternative arrangement agreement with Airblue, Etihad, Shaheen and Turkish airlines to fly our passengers in the GCC. Meanwhile, the PIA management has arranged four Boeing 747 jumbo planes to bring back hundreds of Pakistani pilgrims stranded in Jeddah because of cancellation of PIA flights.”
Considered one of the world’s best airlines in the 1970s, PIA’s ailing fleet and chronic management troubles have turned it into a major burden on Pakistan’s finances.