KARACHI/LAHORE: The flight operations of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have partially resumed however a large number of workers are still away from the duties till acceptance of their demands.
Two PIA flights will bring back pilgrims from Jeddah, while three other flights will also fly from Saudi to take stranded Pakistanis home.
On the other side, several PIA flights could not be taken off due to strike by employees. Sources said PIA offices are still shut.
PIA’s spokesman Daniyal Gilani said the two Boeing 777 aircraft (PK-741 and PK-7329) had departed for Jeddah at around 2am (Saturday–Sunday) and returned to Islamabad with 725 passengers on board on Sunday evening.
He claimed that all departments of the national flag carrier had worked as a great team and made these flights possible.
He said two more flights (PK-733 and PK-739) had been sent to Jeddah to bring back the remaining pilgrims.
Meanwhile, the government has served notice on 64 PIA employees absent from their duties. The employees include pilots, engineers and general managers.
The PIA employees were killed and several more wounded at Karachi’s international airport on February 2 when clashes broke out between security forces and staff, though authorities denied opening fire.
The strike continues despite prime minister’s warning the demonstration was illegal and those taking part could face up to a year in prison under a law that restricts union activity in state-administered sectors.
In the meantime, PIA four protesting workers, who went missing last week, surfaced on Monday.
According to reports, the PIA employees, a leader of Joint Action Committee among them, were released by unknown persons late night at Nagin Chowrangi.
The workers are Hidayat Ullah, Zamir Chandio, Mansoor and Saif.
Hidayat Ullah is a central leader of PIA’s Joint Action Committee. The body of employees has given call of protest against the airline’s proposed privatization.
While speaking to media, Hidayat Ullah, claimed he doesn’t know the abductors, adding that the workers were picked up on government’s behest.
He further said none of the workers were tortured. NNI