Stranded Pakistani passengers arrive home

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By Muhammad Luqman

Over 200 Pakistanis, stranded in China’s Guangzhou city for nine days, have finally returned home.

Shaheen International Airlines dispatched a flight to Guangzhou Sunday night to bring back Pakistani 214 passengers who were stranded following the cancellation of an earlier flight on July 29 due to technical failures.

The fault left some 260 Pakistani passengers stuck at the Guangzhou airport. Some opted to fly back using different airlines.

The passengers on the SAI flight included 185 adults and 29 children. The flight arrived at Lahore airport around 4:30 pm.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our Embassy in Beijing and Consulate General in Guangzhou played an active role in resolving this crisis. As soon as news of cancellation of flight was received, our Consulate established contact with the passengers and Shaheen Airline officials,” a spokesman of Pakistan’s foreign office said.

A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson in an announcement on Sunday had said the objection raised by the authority with regard to fitness of the airline’s plane scheduled to carry back home the stranded passengers has been addressed.

Earlier in July, the CAA had prohibited Shaheen Air from using CAA facilities and services after the airline’s failure to clear dues of Rs1.5 billion. CAA allowed SAI to operate a special flight to bring passengers back who had booked their seats with Shaheen Airlines prior to the ban.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar on August 2 took notice of media reports stating hundreds of Pakistanis were stranded in Guangzhou, China. After the Pakistani government and the chief justice intervened, flight number NL-892 carrying over 200 passengers, has departed from Guangzhou airport for Lahore.

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