KARACHI: As many as 140 PIA flights have been affected during last six days due to severe fog in Punjab and adjoining areas which is a natural phenomenon and beyond human control, PIA spokesman said here on Friday.
He said PIA considers safety of its passengers, crew and aircraft as its first and foremost priority and operates flights only when the weather is favorable. Though a number of flights have been rescheduled but still, it only operates flights when the weather is suitable for flight operations.
Giving details, he said 63 flights have been cancelled, 56 flights delayed and 19 flights diverted to Karachi during the period. These also included 12 international flights delayed and 06 have been cancelled so far.
All efforts were made to operate the flights to avoid passengers inconvenience; therefore some of the flights had to be diverted to Karachi or other airports resulting in incurring additional cost to the flag carrier.
He said that passengers of affected flights are informed through Short Message Service (SMS) on their cell phones and through news tickers. The airline has also provided hotel accommodation to passengers of affected flights and the Central Control Office is in constant communication with Met Office and PIA Flight Operations and flights are operated accordingly.
Heavy fog and poor visibility, he said was the main reason when one cannot give the exact time of departure of flight, hence causing congestion at airports and distress among PIA passengers as not only PIA but other airlines have also been affected.
Meanwhile Chairman PIA, Nasser NS Jaffer has taken notice of customer services at airports and has instructed Senior PIA executives to be present at terminals round the clock and take extra measures while dealing with passengers at airports. Chairman PIA has also directed to deploy extra human resource at the operating level to tackle and facilitate the valued passengers.
The inconvenience caused to the passengers due to fog is regretted, he concluded.