KARACHI: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has imposed a fine of Rs100,000 against a foreign airline over violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) against COVID-19, ARY News reported on Saturday.
The aviation authority took punitive measure against Qatar Airways for violating the COVID-19 SOPs after a passenger from Mozambique to Karachi flight, QR-604, was transported despite being tested positive for coronavirus.
In its letter issued by CAA air transport department, the CAA expressed its concerns against the Qatar Airways’ administration for allowing Hammad to travel through its flight, who is COVID-19 positive certified passenger on the flight number QR-604 on October 15.
Besides imposing fine, the aviation authority stated in its letter that the foreign airline will also bear complete expenses for the testing and quarantine of the passengers. It added that any recurrent violation of COVID-19 related SOPs shall be dealt with in a more stringent manner including but not limited to revocation of operating authorization granted to Qatar Airways for flight operations to and from Pakistan.
The airline was directed to submit a compliance report in this regards within a week.
CAA Senior Joint Secretary Abdus Sattar Khokhar told ARY News that the airline risked lives of passengers and crew members on the flight by violating the SOPs. He added that Qatar Airways will now bear the expenses of coronavirus tests, quarantine and other procedures.
In the global synergetic drive to curb the spread of COVID-19, CAA issued SOPs for international passengers travelling from chartered and private aircraft to Pakistan which made it mandatory to possess negative RT-PCR testing certificate from point of original departure for category B listed countries prior to commencement of journey.