Karachi: A Shaheen Air International flight carrying over 200 Pakistanis stranded at the airport in Chinese city of Guangzhou for over a week, landed in Lahore on Monday.
The SAI flight NL 891 reached Lahore airport at 4:30pm on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, SAI marketing director Zohaib Hassan said, “As per the court order, we have brought back our people stranded in Guangzhou since July 29. All the passengers including 185 adults, 27 children and two infants have reached Lahore safely. Rest assured, we tried our best to take care of them in the best possible manner while they were in Guangzhou. We apologise to our passengers for the inconvenience caused during this time”.
Commenting on the role played by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Hassan said, “We are extremely thankful to CAA for extending a helping hand towards us in such crucial times while also understanding the difficulties of our passengers in Guangzhou”.
The flight was earlier scheduled to reach Lahore late at night, but in a last minute change of plans, SAI decided to send its own aircraft for the rescue mission, following reports that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was sending one of its airplanes to bring back the stranded passengers.
As many as 300 Pakistanis were stranded at the Chinese port city of Guangzhou after their Shaheen Air flight was abruptly cancelled on July 29, following a dispute over payment of arrears amounting to over Rs1.5 billion.
The airline was only allowed to continue its Hajj operations, while all its other international operations were suspended by the CAA owing to the mounting debt.
The stranded passengers faced severe inconvenience as several visas got expired during the delay. A few also reportedly fell sick. SAI had provided accommodation to the passengers at a hotel in Guangzhou.