PIA flight disruptions jeopardise Gilgit-Baltistan’s tourism boom

G-B CM Haji Gulbar Khan urges action on PIA flight disruptions, highlighting economic strain and travel inconveniences

Shabbir Mir June 22, 2024


As the peak tourism season hits its stride, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) is grappling with significant disruptions caused by erratic schedules, excessive delays, and frequent cancellations of PIA flights.

These disruptions are threatening the region’s thriving tourism sector and causing widespread frustration among travellers. In response, Chief Minister Haji Gulbar Khan has urgently appealed to Federal Minister for Aviation, Khawaja Asif, for immediate intervention.

The plea, articulated by Secretary to the Chief Minister Usman Ahmed, underscores the adverse effects on the region's economy and its residents, highlighting that even government officials are struggling to attend crucial meetings in Islamabad.

Gilgit-Baltistan, renowned for its breathtaking mountainous landscapes and serene valleys, is a prime tourist destination.

Home to some of the world's highest peaks, including K2, and stunning sites like Fairy Meadows and Hunza Valley, the region attracts thousands of tourists annually. However, the current state of unreliable air travel is causing significant challenges for both tourists and locals.

Read also: G-B power crisis deepened by mountain tourism

Local passengers have voiced their frustration. Sara, a frequent traveller, stated, "We plan our trips weeks in advance, only to face last-minute cancellations. It’s extremely inconvenient."

Similarly, Ahmed, a tour operator, remarked, "These delays are hurting our business. Tourists are reconsidering their plans due to the uncertainty."

Additionally, road travel remains cumbersome due to frequent traffic blocks at Naran Kaghan.

CM Khan emphasised the critical role of reliable air travel in boosting tourism and supporting local livelihoods.

He urged the federal government to prioritise resolving these issues to restore the credibility of the national airline and facilitate smoother travel for all.


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