ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister House on Thursday accepted the resignation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) chairman Nasser Jaffer.
According to reports, Aviation Division Secretary Mohammad Ali Gardezi has been given additional charge following Jaffer’s resignation.
Following the death of two PIA employees during a clash with security officers on Tuesday, Jaffer announced his resignation as chairman of the national carrier.
On Monday, the Joint Action Committee of PIA Workers had called a nationwide strike against the federal government’s plan to privatise the airline. Following the call, the government had suspended all trade union activities in the airlines for six months under the Essential Services Act.
On Tuesday, the protest took a violent turn in Karachi where security forces used water cannons and teargas to keep the protesting PIA employees from approaching the Jinnah International Airport before shots were fired.
According to a hospital official, two protesters died and eight others sustained injuries due to clashes between protesters and law enforcing agencies (LEAs).
PIA finalises arrangement with Air Blue, Etihad Airways and Shaheen Air
PIA on Thursday finalised arrangements with Air Blue, to commence special flights from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Dubai, Muscat, Jeddah and Riyadh, PIA spokesperson confirmed.
The step has been taken to facilitate passengers affected by the ongoing strike, he added.
The national carrier has also finalised arrangements with Shaheen Air and Etihad Airways to allow passengers with confirm PIA tickets to travel on their domestic flights.
Passengers may contact PIA’s service counters at airports across the country and get their tickets converted those of the private airlines, a press release said.
Meanwhile, PIA passengers at various international destinations can contact PIA staff in their respective countries and have their tickets converted, thus allowing them to travel in various international airlines.
PIA hires four jumbos to bring back pilgrims
PIA on Wednesday announced its decision to arrange four Boeing 747 jumbo planes to bring back thousands of Pakistani pilgrims stranded in Jeddah, as a result of the ongoing strike by PIA employees.
According to a statement issued by the national carrier, an agreement was finalised with Saudi Airlines. The four jumbos are set to fly on February 5 to bring back at least 2000 stranded passengers to Islamabad and Karachi.
Further, a PIA spokesperson confirmed that on their way back to Saudi Arabia, the planes will carry the same number of passengers to Jeddah for Umrah.
“The passengers have confirmed PIA tickets and are being provided hotel accommodation by the airline in Jeddah, as well as in various cities of Pakistan,” he said.
“As a backup plan, PIA is also in its final stages of negotiations with Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines to facilitate passengers traveling to and returning from Europe, America and Canada,” the spokesperson added.