The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued notices to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the national flag carrier, and three private airlines for cancelling domestic flights.
A CAA statement suggests that domestic flight operations were affected by international chartered flights that began in connection with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The CAA has now set new conditions for chartered flight permissions.
The four airlines cancelled a total of 383 domestic flights between October 1 and October 18.
According to the CAA, a total of 1145 flights were to be operated on domestic routes, but 383 (33.4%) were cancelled.
The PIA cancelled 130 flights out of its 417 scheduled flights. The ratio of cancellation was 31.1%.
Serene Airline topped the chart in terms of cancellation. Out of 250 scheduled flights, it cancelled 117 (46.8%).
Airblue cancelled 86 (32.9%) out of 261 flights it was to operate, while Airsial cancelled 50 (23%) of its 217 flights.
According to officials, complaints were received from passengers over the cancellation of flights.
The CAA has now spelled out a new code of conduct for flight cancellation saying that “flight cancellations on the pretext of technical reasons” will only be allowed if the CAA Airworthiness Directorate confirms the technical issue.
The CAA said that it has decided to “withhold all international chartered flight permission forthwith” and now airlines would be required to submit an undertaking to operate domestic flights with “regularity and punctuality” before they are awarded any chartered flight permission.