Pakistan sends Indian crew of delayed flight to Dubai

Pakistan sends Indian crew of delayed flight to Dubai

Three Indian crew members of a delayed Qatar Airways flight were sent to Dubai from here after Pakistani authorities refused to allow them to stay at a hotel outside the airport.

Co-pilot Shah Pooja Kant and crew members Mehtal Rahul and Galarani Tina reached Lahore on Thursday afternoon on Qatar Airways flight QR-620 from Doha.

The Civil Aviation Authority informed Qatar Airways that the flight back to Doha would have to be rescheduled as operations at Lahore airport were affected by a forecast of dense fog. The flight was then delayed till Friday morning.

The management of Qatar Airways then requested the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), responsible for security at all Pakistani airports, to allow the three Indian crew members to spend the night in a hotel outside Allama Iqbal International Airport.

However, authorities said this could not be done as Indian nationals, including transiting passengers, are not allowed to step out of the Lahore airport.

"Since Indians - crew members or passengers - cannot leave the airport premises without a visa, we told Qatar Airways to either let them stay inside the airport or send them back to Dubai on a flight ready to take off," Lahore FIA immigration head Muhammad Ahmed told PTI.

He said Qatar Airways preferred to send the Indian crew members to Dubai on another airlines' flight.

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