Five airline operators, including Pakistan International Airline (PIA), have been served with notices by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for cancelling scheduled domestic flights.
“It has come to our notice through various public complaints/feedback forums that airline operators engaged in the operation of scheduled domestic flights within Pakistan have been cancelling confirmed scheduled domestic flights,” the aviation authority said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
It added that these airlines have been doing this on the pretext of operational reasons and, thereafter, utilising aircraft for the conduct of international chartered operations in lieu of scheduled domestic flights.
The statement added that in light of the above-stated cancellation of 383 flights — from October 1 to October 18 — depicting a total percentage of 33.4%, “the Competent Authority before to withhold all international chartered flight permissions forthwith.”
“Prior to requesting any permission for international chartered flights, airline operators will submit an undertaking to this office that domestic flight schedule approved for any ongoing scheduling season(s) will be operated with a minimum flight regularity and punctuality of 90% and 80% respectively,” it added.
The CAA clarified that cancellation of domestic flights, if any, will only be made consequent upon technical reasons or force majeure circumstances.
Moreover, it further added that flight cancellations on the pretext of technical reasons will only be allowed subject to its confirmation from the Airworthiness Directorate.
“Commercial interest in operating international flight operations may be enticing in the current times but it is the duty of Pakistan CAA to uphold the spirit of public convenience and necessity,” it said.