Pakistani expatriates were confused after Dubai-based low-cost airline flydubai opened tickets for flights to Pakistan, despite Pakistani diplomatic missions in the UAE warning citizens against buying tickets.
The Pakistani embassy and consulate released public notices on Tuesday warning Pakistani passengers to be careful when buying tickets, as no international airline has yet received permission from the Pakistani government to enter.
Passengers wishing to travel to Pakistan can now book flights on the flydubai website. The airline has also warned passengers that flights are operated with government approval. The airline does not offer reservations from Pakistan to UAE.
Flydubai announced flights to various destinations in Pakistan effective April 15. However, the airline states on its website that only Pakistani citizens are allowed to travel on these flights.
The airline’s decision to open its routes followed the Pakistani government’s decision to suspend international flights by April 14. The Pakistani government has not yet announced whether flights will open on April 15.
When a Flydubai spokesman for Gulf News was contacted, he made a brief statement on the subject.
“A communication to Airmen (NOTAM) lists the flight restrictions that exist between the UAE and Pakistan in response to COVID-19. flydubai has opened flights for sale to Pakistan to allow the return of its nationals from April 15, and is subject to government approval. ”
Refund of the ticket price
The airline’s spokesman also said, “This is an evolving situation and we are working with local authorities to facilitate return flights. Passengers will receive a full refund of the original payment method and there will be no booking penalties.”
It should be noted that no other airline, including the Pakistani national carrier Pakistan International Airline, Emirates or Airblue, has so far offered flights for sale due to the termination of flight operations between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
Travel agencies continue to book
A travel agency informed the news agency that a large number of Pakistani passengers had already booked flights with flydubai and that the one-way fare was between 1,400 and more than 2,000 AED.
He said that flydubai offers flights from Dubai to Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot and Quetta.