Pakistan International Airline has cancelled its special flight to Iraq’s Baghdad after pilots refused to operate any flight due to coronavirus fears.

PIA flight PK-9814 was supposed to bring back 161 Pakistanis stranded in Baghdad.

The move comes after two more Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the tally of total infected crew members from a Toronto flight to five.

Two Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots were screened after flying special flights to Canada with Pakistani origin Canadian nationals.

The Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) on Sunday prohibited pilots from operating special flights after COVID-19 related SOPs have been ignored.

“It has come to our notice that on recently operated “humanitarian flights” safety has been compromised and COVID-19 related SOPs have been ignored,” reads a statement released by PALPA.

The circulation reads that the safety and health of crew members remain an utmost priority and PALPA will not compromise on the safety of its members.

“The safety and health of our crew members has always been and remains our utmost priority. PALPA will in no circumstances compromise on the safety of its members,” it added.

Pakistan on Monday also extended its ban on operations of chartered and private planes up to April 11 due to coronavirus crisis.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has also released a NOTAM regarding the extension in the suspension of inbound flight operations of all international passengers, chartered and private aircraft.

However, the operations were later restored after the PIA assured crew members of providing personal protective equipment along with three-time disinfection of the planes.