Punjab still haunted by smog: Air travel, transportation disturbed

Published: November 10, 2017
Motorists drive through a thick blanket of fog.

Motorists drive through a thick blanket of fog. PHOTO APP

Conditions in Punjab remained dense and foggy as smog remained prevalent early on Friday morning disrupting air travel and transportation in the province.

Multiple flights – both domestic and international – have been temporarily suspended. Flights from Lahore/Islamabad to multiple destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Colombo, Doha, Muscat have been delayed for hours at end.

The Met Office also issued a statement saying, “Dense/foggy conditions are expected to prevail in Punjab”.

Smog affects Mepco’s transmission system, flight schedule

The smog has also disrupted on ground transportation, leading to increasing difficulties for residents. Train schedules are also changing in accordance with the weather conditions as well.

Officials at the Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, have said that after “multiple fluctuations”, flight operations have now resumed and that an Emirates flight had landed successfully giving them confidence to resume flights.

“Many flights had been delayed early morning due to bad visibility in the region,” the officials stated. “However, we are now resuming flights slowly.”

“Due to the weather conditions (dense fog and smog) prevailing in the country, some of PIA flights operating on Friday have been cancelled and revised,” PIA spokesman Mashood Tajwar said on Thursday.

PIA spokesman also added, “Weather condition is expected to prevail for the next few days and is beyond the control of the airline. PIA has to adjust the timings of its flights due to such weather conditions, as the airline cannot operate flights with poor visibility and also keeping in view the safety requirements. These results in either cancellation of the flights or flights operated with delays or re-routed.”

Keeping in view the weather forecast for Friday 10 November, the following flights have been cancelled and revised:

PK 313 Lahore-Karachi and PK 853 Islamabad-Lahore have been cancelled.

While PK 206 Kuwait-Lahore has been re-routed to Karachi, PK 588 from Karachi-Bahawalpur to operate as Karachi-Multan-Islamabad, PK 340 Karachi-Faisalabad to Lahore and PK 746 will operate on Jeddah-Islamabad sector instead of Jeddah-Sialkot.

Smog has gone till next year, claims environment dept

PK 248 Damam-Lahore will operate one hour ahead of scheduled time, PK 306 Karachi-Lahore and PK 307 Lahore-Karachi will operate two hours ahead of schedule time.

PK 650 Lahore-Islamabad and PK 503 Karachi -Gwadar will operate with a delay of two hours. PK 352 Karachi-Multan will be delayed by three hours and PK 746 also delayed by three hours from is scheduled time. PIA Spokesman concluded.

Earlier today, the Punjab Environment Protection Department claims the smog has finally dissipated over most of the province as skies cleared after roughly two weeks of the smoke infested fog. However, a few hours later, the smog seeped back into Punjab.

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