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Smog disrupts 600 flights in Pakistan

IANS | Islamabad |

Smog-induced bad weather conditions have disrupted some 600 flights of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in the first two weeks of November, an airline official said.

The smoggy weather conditions, which were prevailing in Punjab province were beyond the PIA’s control, so they had to either delay or cancel the flights, the airline spokesperson was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The affected areas included Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Sialkot and Rahim Yar Khan, Xinhua news agency reported.

The PIA said that 83 flights were rescheduled, 82 re-routed, 17 diverted and 159 flights were cancelled due to poor visibility.

Another 200 flights were delayed to ensure the security requirements in the bad weather, it said.

The PIA official said that each plane is used for multiple flight operations, so their delay due to weather conditions, also affected 63 other flights in the areas where weather was suitable for takeoff, as the plane was not available.

The plains of Punjab, remained engulfed by a thick smog blanket in the first two weeks of November, but scattered rains, which started in the country on Tuesday, washed away the smog from most of the areas.

Pakistani Met officials told Xinhua earlier this week that the province would get a respite from smog following the downpour, but fog will continue in the area.