Singapore Airlines to cut back its operations in Pak

Singapore Airlines to cut back its operations in Pak

Singapore Airlines has informed Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority that it will stop three weekly flights to Karachi and Lahore from February 17, CAA Director General Junaid Amin said. "It is very sad that this has happened... Singapore Airlines says the flights were not making money but the real reason is the security threat," Amin was quoted as saying by The News daily today.

Leading foreign carriers have curtailed or stopped flights to Pakistan due to security concerns. British Airways stopped flights in 2008 just months after German airline Lufthansa curtailed flights to Karachi. Airlines from several Middle Eastern countries too curtailed operations in the northwestern city of Peshawar last year following a suicide car bomb attack on a five-star hotel at which their crews stayed.

A recent wave of bombings and suicide attacks by the Taliban across the country has scared away the small number of tourists and business travellers that come to Pakistan, members of the aviation industry said.

The CAA's provisional figures show that Pakistan's total passenger traffic rose to 14.1 million in fiscal 2008-09 from 14 million a year earlier. Most of the growth came from international traffic as the number of domestic passengers dropped from 6.6 million to 6.3 million.

Former CAA chief Farooq Rehmatullah said negative travel advisories for Pakistan have also hit international traffic and little has been done to foster the growth of the domestic aviation sector. Out of Pakistan’s 42 airports, only 18 are functional and nine are equipped to cater to international flights

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