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16 PIA staffers stranded in Canada after flight ban for 30 days

Canada has suspended all passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, starting from Friday, due to increased Covid-19 cases detected in travellers arriving from these countries. “Given the higher number of cases of Covid-19 detected in air passengers arriving in Canada from India and Pakistan […] I am suspending all commercial and private passenger flights arriving in Canada from India and Pakistan for 30 days,” Omar Alghabra, Canadian minister for transport, told a news conference. “This is a temporary measure, while we assess the evolving situation and determine appropriate measures going forward,” he added.

The ban, which takes effect at 09:30am PST, Friday, does not affect cargo flights. Alghabra said Canada would not hesitate to bar flights from other nations if needed. On the other hand, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has cancelled all flights to Canada.

According to the spokesperson of the PIA, all the flights to Canada have been cancelled due to the ban on flights from Pakistan to Canada. A 16-member PIA crew also stranded in Toronto due to flight cancellations. The 16-member cockpit and cabin crew were scheduled to leave Canada for Pakistan on Saturday.

The ministry said that 35 flights from India had arrived in Canada in the past week, with a large number of passengers infected with the coronavirus. It is to be noted that the Covid-19 cases have reached an alarming situation in India as more than 300,000 cases were reported on Thursday while 2,256 corona patients lost their lives. India currently has the second-highest number of corona cases in the world after the United States.

The UAE officials also announced an air travel ban in view of the deteriorating situation in India.