Pakistan pilot refuses to fly after emergency landing because shift had ended

Authorities intervened to bring the situation under control after passengers protested at airport in Riyadh

Shweta Sharma
Friday 21 January 2022 07:32 GMT
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A Pakistan pilot refused to complete a journey because his shift ended after the plane had to make an emergency landing.

A plane with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the country’s national air carrier, was scheduled to leave Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on Sunday and fly to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

The PIA pilot, however, had to make an emergency landing shortly after take off at Saudi Arabia’s Dammam airport due to bad weather conditions.

The pilot then refused to fly, saying his shift hours had ended, according to The Express Tribune.

The sudden turn of events led to brief chaos after agitated passengers refused to get off the plane and began to protest.

Authorities at Dammam airport had to call security personnel to bring the situation under control. Hotel arrangements were made for the passengers at the airport.

“A pilot should rest because it is necessary for flight safety. All passengers will reach 11pm at Islamabad Airport until then all arrangements have been made in hotels,” a PIA spokesperson was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

The incident comes two months after the national carrier expanded its flight operations.

PIA said it would operate 35 flights for Saudi Arabia every week after South Arabia lifted travel restrictions on flights from Pakistan and other nations due to the Covid pandemic.

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