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Unaccounted Passengers a Serious Problem for Airline Facing Strike

Ongoing strikes at Pakistan International Airlines continue to confound the airline as to where their ticketed passengers are.

[Update, 11:25 a.m. PST: “Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) head offices in Karachi and Islamabad reopened Monday, following ‘partial resumption‘ of flight operations at various international airports across Pakistan, PIA spokesman Daniyal Gillani said.”]

Strikes continue at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), where company executives canceled more than 600 flights over last five days.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Sunday that PIA, Pakistan’s largest airline, canceled over 600 international and domestic flights since the suspension of operations last week due to a countrywide strike by airline employees over the government’s plans to privatize the airline.

“More than 600 international and domestic flights of PIA have been canceled during the last five days or so. However, two PIA flights left for Jeddah on Sunday to bring back stranded passengers,” PTI reported PIA spokesman Daniyal Gilani saying on Sunday.

PIA issued a press release Sunday that read, “Keeping in view the difficulties being faced by Umrah Zaireen stranded in Saudi Arabia due to ongoing strike by PIA unions, two Boeing 777 planes have been sent to Jeddah to bring back around 800 of them.”

“All PIA staff members have been requested to resume duties and save their airline,” the release said.

PIA thought it had a deal with Saudi Airlines to facilitate travel for PIA passengers, but only one flight brought back just 300 passengers.

On Feb. 4, PIA announced an arrangement with Air Blue to accept PIA’s confirmed ticket passengers for flights to Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Dubai, Muscat, Jeddah and Riyadh. Similar agreements were reached with Shaheen Air and other airlines, though media reports indicate the agreements are not panning out.

PIA said international and domestic tickets that are not utilized during strike days would be fully refunded without any additional charges when normal operation resumes.

On Friday, a senior PIA official told CNN that the airline has “no data available on how many and where passengers with confirmed PIA tickets are waiting.”

[Photo: Wikipedia/Flickr user: Mark Winterbourne]

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djjaguar64 February 9, 2016

This is one of the airlines on my NFL(no fly list).