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Volcanic eruption, PIA suffers Rs 500 m loss, 6000 passengers stranded.

PESHAWAR, April 18, 2010 (Balochistan Times): Pakistan International Airline (PIA) formed a Task Force supervised by its MD, Captain Aijaz Haroon to meet the challenge and recovery from the situation arising out of 32 PIA flight cancellations since last Thursday owing to persistent volcanic ash and closure of airspace over Europe and UK. According to a press release issued here Sunday, the Task Force consists of experienced officers from Passenger Handling, Engineering, Flight Operation, Marketing & Revenue Management, All Station Managers, Security, Planning, Call Center and Emergency Response Center. Presently, the task force is ensuring maximum passenger care during transit and regular updated information about cancellations and the possibilities of flight resumption. Call center is sending text messages and responding phone inquiries 24 hours. The press release added nearly 6,000 passengers in the country and abroad booked on the cancelled flights are waiting to take their travel as soon as the flights begin. About 400 passengers in transit are lodged at hotels and being looked after by the airline staff at Paris and other EU destinations. Infants were also being provided milk and diapers. According to an estimate PIA suffered a revenue loss of nearly Rs 500 million or dollars six million in the last three days. The airspace restrictions are likely to remain same until next Wednesday. The focus of the task force would be to recover revenue loss by working extra sections as soon as Europe and UK air spaces are available for aircraft movement and major airports open their operations. Meanwhile, PIA Flight Operations Central Control worked out another route over South Atlantic safe from volcanic ash and flight PK 781 Islamabad-Toronto sent last night reached Toronto 12.30 pm PST Saturday. While, PK 782 Toronto-Karachi left Canada 2.30 pm PST through the same route, the expected time of arrival at the destination is 4:30 am Sunday. Efforts are under way by the flight operations to operate flight PK 723 stranded at Paris for JFK New York this evening subject to permission from the euro air traffic controllers, to transfer the 320 passengers in transit since last three days to their destination. Meanwhile, PIAs flights to UK and Europe cancelled on Saturday includes PK 771 Islamabad-Copenhagen-Oslo; PK772 Oslo-Copenhagen-Islamabad; PK 791 Islamabad-Birmingham; PK792 Birmingham-Islamabad; PK785 Islamabad-London; PK 786 London - Islamabad; PK 775 Islamabad-Leads; PK 776 Leads-Islamabad; PK 777 Lahore-Glasgow; PK 778 Glasgow - Lahore; PK757 Lahore -London; PK 758 London - Lahore; PK 711 Lahore -Manchester -JFK (New York) and PK712 JFK New York-Manchester- Lahore. The flights to UK and Europe for Sunday are also cancelled which include PK787 Karachi-London, PK788 London -Karachi, PK785 Islamabad-London, PK786 London Islamabad, PK701 Islamabad-Manchester, PK702 Manchester-Islamabad, PK791 Islamabad-Birmingham, PK792 Birmingham- Islamabad and PK 769 &PK 770 Islamabad -Paris-Frankfurt and back. PIA flight operations has taken special permission to operate its flight on Sunday PK 784 Toronto-Islamabad via JFK New York to facilitate its passengers at New York. Passengers may call PIA Emergency Response Center for assistance and guidance on phone numbers 9221-99242352, 9221-99242332. The arrivals and departures of flights may also be checked on these numbers or the Call Center 111-786-786 before coming to airports.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 18, 2010
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