RAWALPINDI: The government has imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on Turkish Airlines for violating standard operating procedures (SOPs) for prevention of Covid-19 on its flight.
The airline has also been asked to bear the traveling expenses for transporting the passenger to Lahore along with the cost of testing and quarantine.
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has directed Turkish airlines to submit a compliance report to CAA Karachi within one week after issuance of the letter. This is the second case of SOPs violation by an international airline while transporting passengers to Pakistan.
All airline operators, engaged in operation to and from Pakistan, have been advised to ensure strict compliance with the government’s directives, which state that travelers from Category-B countries shall be required to provide proof of negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test conducted not more than 96 hours prior to the commencement of travel, failing which the airline shall not issue the boarding pass.
It has been noted with serious concern that Turkish Airlines transported passenger, Mohammad Ishfaq, from a Category-B country Mali to Istanbul for onward journey to Lahore on Oct 15 without proof of a negative RT-PCR test despite a warning issued by the CAA on Oct 13 to refrain from transport of such passengers, a statement issued by CAA read.
The Pakistani passenger has been left stranded at Istanbul airport since Oct 15, without any intimation to CAA, it added.
Pakistan’s ambassador in Turkey brought the matter to the authority’s attention following which, it imposed a penalty on Turkish Airlines; the airline has been directed to submit the amount in CAA’s collection account in Karachi.
The passenger shall be transported to Lahore while being seated in the last vacant row of the aircraft and will not be allowed to interact with other passengers during the flight, the letter stated.