Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) stopped operating from Karachi on Sunday and declined reports that their pilots had received the corona virus from a flight from the UK.
In a statement released on Sunday, the national airline explained its views on the quarantine of its aviation personnel in Karachi. “The PIA is strictly following the instructions of the Pakistani government,” said its spokesman Abdullah Khan.
“The instructions include measures to disinfect the aircraft, as well as crew health and safety,” Khan added, noting that the federal government’s instructions were followed at all airports in the country.
The incident at Karachi airport was “against the Pakistani government’s instructions to aviation personnel”. All officials had been informed three hours before the plane was due to arrive without passengers from London.
However, the spokesman emphasized that despite instructions, the Sindh Ministry of Health officials insisted on forcibly quarantining the pilots. PIA chief Air Marshal Arshad Malik has raised serious concerns about measures that violate federal government instructions, he added.
The PIA aircraft crew is returning Pakistanis stranded abroad, CEO Malik said, according to Khan. “We have implemented all possible security measures for aviation personnel,” he added.
The spokesman mentioned that the national airline was in constant contact with top officials and that reports of the coronavirus crewing the aircraft crew were misleading.
The crew was isolated in a PIA hotel, waiting for test results, the spokesman added. However, airline operations from Karachi should be suspended until consensus has been reached on government-issued guidelines.