More than 4,700 Canadians Stranded in Pakistan due to COVID-19 return home

May 15, 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic is a fast-evolving crisis, which has left thousands of travellers stranded around the world.

Since the suspension of all regular international flights in Pakistan, the High Commission of Canada has worked closely with the Government of Pakistan and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to return home over 4,700 Canadians and other eligible travellers stranded in Pakistan.

To date, 16 special PIA direct flights to Toronto have departed from three major Pakistani cities - Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore – with Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and other eligible travellers on board.

Between 16 March and 14 May, the Government of Canada has facilitated the repatriation of approximately 32,000 Canadians from 90 countries on 264 flights.  These efforts were led by Global Affairs Canada (Canada’s Foreign Ministry, with combined responsibility for diplomacy, international trade and international development), in partnership with foreign governments and airlines around the world.

These efforts followed Canadian Government travel advice, which advises all Canadians to avoid international travel and return home on commercial means when available.

“With thanks to Pakistan International Airlines and the Government of Pakistan, we have been able to support the safe return of thousands of Canadians home to Canada as a result of travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” stated the High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan, Wendy Gilmour.

“We recognize that some Canadians will need to remain in Pakistan longer than expected”, she added.  “The High Commission of Canada and its dedicated Consular team will continue working hard to provide consular support and services to those Canadians left in Pakistan”.

In addition to assisting Canadians, the Government of Canada is collaborating with international partners, including the World Health Organization to address the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation around the globe, including in Pakistan.  In particular, Canada recognizes and supports the tireless efforts of Pakistan’s front line health care workers, who are at the forefront in combatting this novel virus. 

Further information on Canada’s support for Pakistan will be forthcoming shortly.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Amina Sarwar
Public Relations Officer, High Commission of Canada
Tel: 0312-5190383
Amina.Sarwar@international.gc.ca