By VM Satish
Emirates Business 24-7, 29 July 2010
The local offices of Airblue are waiting for the official passenger list to decide whether any UAE or Oman-based passengers were on the flight that crashed on Wednesday morning.
Airblue's flight EB202 from Karachi was coming into land at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International airport when it crashed in a ball of flames.
Expatriates are concerned that there could be passengers from the Gulf who might have used the flight as a connecting service. The airline operates several flights from the UAE and Oman to Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan. The phone number for information regarding passengers on the flight is 111247258.
However, airline officials in Dubai said there was no information about flight cancellations from the UAE. Speaking to Emirates 24/7, a district manager of Airblue said: "We don't have any idea whether any of the passengers to Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi were on the plane. The passenger list will be released soon and we will come to know about it later."
He said the airline operates about 14 flights per week from Dubai and the summer vacation is a busy season for the budget carrier.
"Many of my friends were planning to travel on Airblue for their summer vacation. I don't know whether they will fly on the same airline now. Many passengers are attracted to the airline because the rates are very cheap," said Waheed, a Pakistani national based in Dubai.
Airblue has scheduled three flights for departure on Wednesday night from Dubai and Sharjah, including a flight to Islamabad (ED 411). A source in the Sharjah office of Air Blue said: "We don't know whether the flight to Islamabad or Karachi will be cancelled. We are waiting for information from the head office."
This is the summer vacation season and most Airblue flights have good bookings. "We have received some calls from Pakistani expatriates in the UAE inquiring whether their relatives are on the crashed plane. We are waiting for information from the head office," said an airline source in Sharjah.