Over 200 Pakistanis stranded in China expected to return tonight

BEIJING: Over 200 Pakistanis stranded at China’s Guangzhou airport are expected to finally return home tonight (Monday).
A Shaheen Air flight which landed at Guanghzou airport earlier today is scheduled to take off shortly with the passengers and reach Lahore late at night.
According to media, the stranded passengers have been issued boarding passes and have gotten clearance from immigration officials.
On Sunday, Shaheen Air International decided to send its own aircraft for the rescue mission following reports that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was sending one of its airplanes to bring back the stranded countrymen.
Earlier, it was reported that Shaheen Air had sought the help of PIA to bring back the stranded passengers.
As many as 300 Pakistanis were stranded at the Chinese port city of Guangzhou after their Shaheen Air flight was abruptly cancelled on July 29, following a dispute over payment of arrears totalling over Rs1.5 billion between the airline and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The airline’s international operations — except Hajj flights — were suspended several days ago by the CAA owing to the mounting debt.
The stranded citizens faced immense difficulties amid the blame game between the CAA and Shaheen Air. A few of them also reportedly fell sick as they waited to return home.
Further, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office of Pakistan had earlier said that with the cooperation of the Pakistani consul general, 214 passengers had reached home through an alternate flight whereas 46 preferred to return via Shaheen Air’s next flight.
The spokesperson added that Shaheen Air flights to Guanghzou scheduled for August 2 and 5 were also cancelled increasing the number of Pakistanis stranded at the airport.
Shaheen Air provided accommodation to these passengers at a hotel in Guangzhou, he said, where they were also provided food.