Pakistan Airlines Strike Turns Violent, Strands Passengers
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A strike by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees has turned violent and resulted in the carrier losing track of how many and where passengers are waiting for their flights.
According to Jethro Mullen and Sophia Saifi of CNN.com, the strike began due to the government’s efforts to partially privatize the country's flag carrier, and the protests have turned violent. On Monday, security forces used water cannons and tear gas, and two employees were killed during the demonstrations.
Pakistan International Airlines released a statement Friday, saying, “We have no data available on how many and where passengers with confirmed PIA tickets are waiting, because the entire system is shut, servers are down and no booking is being done.”
The airline revealed that it knows around 2,500 passengers are stuck across Europe and in North America, but there are many more that the company can’t locate due to the systems being shut down as a result of the strike. All flights were canceled Monday and service has not resumed as of Friday.
PIA’s official website revealed that all tickets will be refunded once the carrier resumes a normal schedule again, and that all employees have had their airport entry passes revoked until the strike is over.
To help its customers, Pakistan Airlines has been working with Saudi Airlines, Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines to get passengers to their destinations during the ordeal. Since the strike began, bookings have steeply dropped.
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