Two special flights left for Canada on Thursday at the behest of the Canadian government amid suspension of flights in Pakistan due to coronavirus.
Two PIA flights departed respectively from the airports of Karachi and Lahore and 600 passengers onboard. Before boarding, all passengers were checked for signs of the novel virus and their luggage was disinfected, too.
The airport staff conducted thorough inspection of passengers before leaving Toronto, and their baggage was sprayed with disinfection, whilst the top management of the PIA was at the airport to monitor the situation.
Spokesperson PIA said both Canadian flights would return to Pakistan without passengers and advised the public to book their flights from constant PIA offices and choose online reservations and tickets to avoid crowds.
The government has, on the other hand, extended the suspension date for domestic flights from April 2 to April 11, but flights from Islamabad to Gilgit and Skardu will continue to operate as scheduled.
The special PIA aircraft arrived with relief goods from China at Islamabad, and flight PK 8552 arrived from Beijing in Islamabad.
The equipment consists of 100 thermal scanners, 900,000 helmets, 60,000 safety lenses and more than 3300 protective suits, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) spokesperson. The gear include two and a half lac gloves and thermometers.
After customs clearance, the goods were sent to NDMA officials yesterday, PIA special plane flew to China to pick up relief goods.