A protest and strike was held by employees of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) on Tuesday, which disrupted flights and created problems for passengers at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
BBIA officials said the strike led to the cancellation of 15 domestic and international flights.
They maintain the strike caused five flights between Islamabad and Lahore were cancelled. In addition, four flights between Islamabad and Karachi were also cancelled. The strike also caused the cancellation of two flights from Islamabad to Multan. A flight from Islamabad to Quetta was also cancelled.
Further, three international flights were also cancelled at the airport.
The officials added one flight from Islamabad to Beijing, was cancelled. The flight to Islamabad from Sharja and vice-versa could also not leave their respective airports.
A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) official, on condition of anonymity, said all PIA employees working in the morning shift were allowed to enter the airport and carry out their duties. He said the situation became tense when employees of the carrier’s evening shift arrived at the airport and received news of the deaths of the two protesting PIA employees in Karachi.
The official said PIA workers closed ticket counters, cargo services and flight operations after they received the news of the deaths. PIA workers gathered in the parking area of the airport and said a prayer for their deceased colleagues.
The Airport Security Force barred the protesting workers from entering the airport premises after they gathered outside the airport. Some 100 workers staged a sit-in on the Airport Road near the entry gate of the facility.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2016.
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