Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has decided to temporarily suspend flight operations to Italy to keep a check on coronavirus.
PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said in a press release that the national carrier had temporarily suspended its flight operation to and from Milan till March 31.
However, the spokesman said the passengers having the nationality of any European country could travel to Paris by PIA flights.
He said on reaching Paris, the passengers will have to manage their onward journey on their own. The passengers, who had reserved their seats for Pakistan from Milan, would have to travel to Paris on their own to catch a PIA flight.
PIA suspends flight operations between Pakistan and Milan
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Passengers wanting to travel to Paris have to give an undertaking that they will not claim any facility from PIA, the spokesman said.
After undertaking, the passengers willing to travel from Pakistan to Paris will be issued boarding cards.
Those passengers who do not have a nationality, tourist visa or residence permit of any European country or any other travel document will not be able to travel to Milan. And those who do not want to travel to Paris will be able to get their ticket refunded without charges.
The spokesman said all PIA offices have been facilitating their customers, adding that the airline apologizes for the inconvenience caused due to flight suspension.
PIA had already suspended flight operations for Iran and Qatar in the wake of coronavirus spread.
Coronavirus was first detected in China after which it spread to many countries including Pakistan.
So far 80 countries have been affected by the killer virus and the death toll has crossed 5000 figures.
The economies of major countries like the USA and China have been badly affected and the global economy is predicted to decrease at a rate of 2.3%.
Of all the affected countries, China experienced a major slowdown in its economic growth. Accounting for 17% of the total global economy, China has a major chunk in the total economic growth of the world.
In the face of these realities, cancellation of flights to major European countries like Italy could be economically harmful for Pakistan.
The PIA may experience financial difficulties due to the continuous cancellation of flights to different countries.
As soon as the virus is not effectively contained, it is going to spread across all of the countries and the global economy will continue to suffer.
News disk with additional input from Online Media International.