Coronavirus: more flights to repatriate Pakistani workers

Some 60,000 nationals are understood to still be waiting to return home

Thousands of Pakistani nationals are flying home on repatriation flights from the UAE in June. AP
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More than 20,000 Pakistanis have been repatriated home from the UAE since mid April, new figures have shown.

Around 15,000 passengers departed on flights from Dubai while 5,000 boarded special charters from Abu Dhabi, according to authorities.

Officials from the Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development Department said 21,843 nationals had lost their jobs in the Emirates since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Close to 34,500 had also either been placed on paid or unpaid leave. Some 60,000 are still waiting to return home.

To date, more than 120 repatriation flights have left the UAE to Pakistan, with an average number of 11 departures a week.

The flights have also repatriated 214 deceased Pakistani nationals and returned 394 prisoners who were serving sentences in the country.

Further flights, scheduled between June 1 and June 10, are expected to return an additional 7,630 nationals home.

They will include flights to major cities such as Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad.

The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) will carry out 20 of the flights from the UAE and the remaining will be operated by UAE carriers.