Given the increasing increase in COVID-19 cases across the nation, Pakistan's aviation regulator has mandated masks for domestic flights, according to a statement. The order was issued a day after Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, announced that its COVID-19 positivity ratio—the percentage of positive cases among all tests—rose to 21% from a national figure of 2.8 percent. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) issued the statement late on Sunday. "With immediate effect, mask wearing will be required onboard domestic flights."
Flight operations at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport have been affected by low visibility caused by severe fog, with numerous flights delayed. At the runway, visibility has reduced to 800 metres. Due to the fog, several inbound and outbound flights were cancelled. Due to severe weather at the airport, international flight QR-621 from Doha to Lahore has been delayed. Due to hazy conditions, PK-789 from Toronto to Lahore and PK-715 from Allama Iqbal airport to Istanbul were both delayed.
As a result of the highly infectious Omicron variety disrupting holiday travel, almost 2,000 flights have been cancelled and thousands more have been delayed around the world. On Friday, the flight tracking website Flightaware.com reported that 2,118 flights had been cancelled around the world, including 500 flights originating in or bound for US airports, and over 5,700 flights had been delayed. After being exposed to COVID, pilots, flight attendants, and other crew members have called in ill or had to quarantine, prompting Lufthansa, Delta, United Airlines, and a number of other airlines to cancel flights.
Smog continued to blanket Punjab's central and southern regions on Friday, disrupting flight and train operations in some of the province's towns. Due to the critical smog situation, several flights from Lahore and Sialkot airports were delayed. According to the Daily Jang, four flights bound for Lahore were diverted to Islamabad. Train schedules from Karachi and Quetta were also disrupted, according to the publication.
After the discovery of a new coronavirus strain named Omicron, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a new travel alert for Category C nations on Sunday in an effort to prevent cases of new coronavirus variants in Pakistan. The CAA has issued a new travel advisory for 17 countries, including South Africa, Hong Kong, Iraq, Namibia, and Ukraine. Passengers from nations classified as C would need approval from the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) to travel. "They would be forced to give proof of full Covid-19 vaccination," the CAA stated.
Travel restrictions from a lengthy list of nations, including Mexico, Canada, and most of Europe, were lifted Monday, allowing visitors to take long-awaited vacations and family members to reunite after more than a year and a half apart due to the pandemic. Beginning Monday, the United States will allow fully vaccinated travellers at airports and land crossings, removing a Covid-19 restriction imposed during the Trump administration. The new guidelines allow travellers from previously banned countries to fly as long as they have confirmation of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test. Traveling by land from Mexico and Canada will necessitate proof of immunisation but not a test.
Under the Employment Permit System (EPS), the Korean government has agreed to ease visa restrictions on foreign workers (E-9 visa category), allowing Pakistani labourers to enter the country. President of the Republic of Korea's Human Resource Development Department, Uh Soo-bong, informed Pakistan Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (ROK), Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, that the Korean government has agreed to lift the visa restriction for E-9 workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS).
From October 1, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will allow food to be served on domestic flights. Passengers on PIA's Islamabad flight PK300 were not served breakfast. Passengers were simply provided a bottle of water on their seats during the journey. Abad's one-way cost was increased to Rs 15,000, and no meal was offered. The passengers voiced their discontent.