Country’s aviation minister says virus causes immense losses to Pakistan International Airline, Civil Aviation Authority
Pakistan on Saturday said the new coronavirus has caused over $15 million loss to its state-run airlines and aviation industry due to suspension of flight operations.
In a video statement, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the federal minister for aviation, said the coronavirus has caused immense losses to the aviation industry around the world, including Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the country.
“During the last one month, PIA lost 1.2 billion rupees ($7.6 million) due to suspension of flights to different countries,” Khan said.
The Civil Aviation Authority has also lost 1.2 billion rupees ($7.6 million) last week, he added.
Pakistan has already suspended its flight operations to China, Iran, Qatar, and Italy following the coronavirus outbreak.
So far, Pakistan has reported 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus, mostly from the southern Sindh province and northern Gilgit-Baltistan region.
On Friday, Pakistan also closed all educational institutions across the country for the next three weeks and ordered “complete” sealing of the country’s borders with neighboring Iran and Afghanistan from March 16.
Also, the traditional Pakistan Day military parade, scheduled for March 23, has been canceled.
Since originating in Wuhan, China, last December, the coronavirus has spread globally, becoming a pandemic.
More than 142,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in at least 129 countries and territories, with almost 5,400 people losing their lives, according to the World Health Organization.
As part of efforts to stem the spread of the virus, many governments closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries.