Pakistan, Saudi Arabia agree to increase collaboration in aviation sector

ISLAMABAD, June 25 (APP):Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Thursday agreed to increase the existing bilateral collaboration in the aviation sector aimed at providing better air travel services to people of the two countries.

The agreement reached during a meeting between Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy, which held here at the Minister’s Office in Parliament House, a news release said.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan emphasized the need for further strengthening the existing brotherly ties between the two countries.

He acknowledged the effective measures taken by the Saudi authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the kingdom, expressing the desire to further enhance cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia especially with respect to aviation, in the strenuous COVID-19 circumstances.

The ambassador apprised the minister of the current status of the virus spread in Saudi Arabia, adding “Lockdown in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been completely lifted with strict implementation of SOPs”.

The minister told the Saudi envoy Pakistan had ensured that employees of Pakistan International Airlines were not laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic, as had been done around the world.

Nawaf Saeed A. Al Malkiy said the Saudi government had also not laid off any employee of the state airline in the situation arising out of the virus.

He informed the minister that Saudi Arabia had decided to limit the number of pilgrims to 10,000 for this year’s Hajj keeping in view the coronavirus evolving situation.

The envoy said the Saudi authorities had allowed special quota of around 500-600 to the children of Shuhada of the Army of KSA, medical professionals, who served during the fight against COVID-19, besides the military personnel received injuries while being on duty.

“The remaining seats will be open for the foreigners already working in their respective embassies in Saudi Arabia.”