The UAE's three major airlines, Emirates, Etihad, and flydubai, have considerably cut the number of weekly flights to Pakistan in line with Islamabad's directive to reduce international inbound flights from Wednesday (May 5) because of raging Covid-19 cases.
Pakistan has urged all international airlines to reduce inbound flights from May 5 to 20, as its aims to contain the third wave of the pandemic.
Pakistan reduced the number of international inbound flights from 590 to 123 per week between May 5 and 20. The government will review its decision about extending or cancelling this decision on May 18.
An Emirates spokesperson said in a statement to Khaleej Times that the Dubai-based carrier continues to operate passenger services to Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, and Sialkot, but with fewer flights available for passengers from May 5 until 20 May, as per the latest Pakistani government's directive.
"Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused. Affected customers are advised to contact their travel agent or Emirates booking office to make changes to their bookings," said the statement.
The budget carrier flydubai's spokesperson said it would reduce its schedule and operate 16 flights a week until May 20 to the destinations on its network in Pakistan.
"Passengers can rebook to the next available flight, rebook to another destination in Pakistan or alternatively receive a refund. Passengers can amend their booking," said the spokesperson.
An Etihad Airways spokesperson said following regulations being updated by the Pakistan authorities from May 5, a limit would be placed on the number of international passengers allowed to travel into and from Pakistan.
"As a result, Etihad Airways is temporarily reducing its passenger flights between Abu Dhabi and Pakistan, from May 5 to May 20. Etihad is working to increase the aircraft capacity for those flights it is permitted to operate, and also contacting impacted guests to notify them of the changes to their itineraries and rearrange travel plans," the spokesperson added.