In some bad news for patients, including residents, of Gilgit and adjoining areas, travellers between Gilgit and Islamabad are in for some disruptions as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspends flights to the northern city from February 3 to 7.
This temporary grounding is due to a technical malfunction in the ATR aircraft that typically serves this route. The PIA plane on the air route between Gilgit and Islamabad has been handed over for repair work.
The PIA flights to Gilgit will remain suspended until February 7 due to the malfunctioning ATR aircraft.
PIA operates one to two daily flights between the two cities using ATR aircraft that malfunctioned on February 3, known for their ability to handle short runways and mountainous terrain. Unfortunately, one of these planes has encountered a mechanical issue, necessitating immediate repairs.
With only two ATR aircraft available for small-sector flights across the country, including Gilgit, PIA is unable to offer alternative services during the repair period. One of the two aircraft is engaged in flights in the north zone of Islamabad and in the south zone of Karachi.
The spokesperson confirmed that the affected aircraft will be back in service on February 8, resuming regular operations to Gilgit.
This temporary suspension of flights creates inconvenience for passengers, particularly residents of Gilgit and surrounding areas, who rely on this air link for travel and essential services. While the repairs are necessary to ensure safety, the disruption highlights the limitations of relying on a single type of aircraft for critical routes.
Passengers with existing bookings are advised to contact PIA for rescheduling or refund options. The airline may also explore alternative arrangements, such as ground transportation, to minimize disruptions for travellers during this period.