Mismanagement galore: PIA flight returns from Kabul without landing

Norwegian passengers lacking Pakistani visas stranded at airport.

Danish Hussain July 28, 2014


An Afghanistan-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight carrying over two dozen passengers returned to Islamabad on Monday after Afghan aviation authorities did not allow it to land at Kabul airport.

As many as 27 passengers, including some seven Norwegian citizens who do not hold valid visas for Pakistan, were stranded at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport after flight PK-251 returned to Islamabad.

Passengers later protested at the airport and complained about the “cold shoulder” response of authorities in Islamabad.

“When the scheduled PIA flight reached Kabul at around 2:05pm, it was informed that the runway is closed. The flight was then diverted back to Pakistan,” said PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar. He said the flight waited for a while in a bid to get landing clearance which it was not given by the Afghan aviation authorities.

When asked if the flight would be rescheduled, Tajwar said because of security reasons, PIA does not fly to Afghanistan during the night. However, he expressed hope the flight would be rescheduled for Tuesday (today).

One of the passengers of the flight, Dolat Baig, informed The Express Tribune that PK-251 flew from Islamabad at around 1:10pm and reached its destination but returned to Islamabad, without airplane officials informing them of any reason.

He said no one at the airport was listening to passengers and officers of aviation authorities were not present at their offices.

He said after passengers protested at the airport for three hours, officials informed them that the next scheduled PIA flight for Kabul was on August 4. He added that immigration authorities were reluctant to issue spot visas to the Norwegian citizens, some of whom have children with them, for an indefinite time period.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.


faisal | 8 years ago | Reply PIA is not the visa issuing authority.
Humza | 8 years ago | Reply

@Np: If another country's authorities suddenly decide against allowing a plane to land, how is it the fault of PIA. Afghanistan has few laws and is far more disorganised and corrupt than Pakistan. They have no way of doing things there and that is why they refused the flight landing. As for those so called Norwegians travelling to Afghanistan with children, I suspect most of them are Afghan refugees who smuggled themselves to Norway to claim asylum and that they are not real Norwegians. I can't imagine a native Norwegian wanting to travel to Afghanistan with his kids!

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