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PIA operations to Dubai, Sharjah ‘severely affected’ due to UAE rains

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Pakistan’s national carrier PIA said on Thursday its operations to Dubai and Sharjah had been “severely affected” by a latest spell of heavy rains in the UAE and would remain suspended until further notice.

UAE residents woke up to heavy rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds on Thursday morning, as predicted by the UAE’s National Center of Meteorology (NCM) on Wednesday, May 1. The extreme weather is expected to continue until Friday, May 3, and authorities have issued safety adviseries for residents.

The latest rains come two weeks after Dubai was hit by unprecedented storms that paralyzed the emirate for days.

“Air operations to Dubai and Sharjah are severely affected due to heavy rains in UAE,” PIA said in a statement. “Air operations of other airlines including PIA will remain suspended for the time being.”

The airline said passengers of affected flights should contact PIA call center 786 786 111 for their flight information and alternative arrangements.

Last month, Dubai had to endure the towering task of clearing its water clogged roads and drying out flooded homes after a record storm saw a year’s rainfall in a day. Dubai International Airport, a major travel hub, also struggled for days to clear a backlog of flights and many roads were still flooded in the aftermath of the deluge.

The rains were the heaviest experienced by the United Arab Emirates in the 75 years that records have been kept. They brought much of the country to a standstill and caused significant damage, flooding trapped residents in traffic, offices and homes and overrunning malls and roads.