Government Says PIA Flights To Europe To Be Restored Soon

June 10, 2024Zayn0

The National Assembly was told on Friday by Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Ali Pervaiz Malik that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights to Europe should resume shortly.  The minister said that Pakistan was removed from the European Commission’s list of countries of concern on May 14 and called this a “positive development.”

Previous Ban

In 2020, the EASA barred PIA from operating on its most profitable routes in Europe and Britain following a plane tragedy in Karachi that claimed almost 100 lives, and a scandal involving a forged pilot’s license.  The airline loses around Rs40 billion in revenue a year as a result of the ongoing embargo.

Federal Minister of Aviation Statement

Khawaja Asif, the Federal Minister of Aviation, stated in March that PIA flights to the UK will start up again as soon as they receive approval from EASA by the middle of May.  The minister said what he said was based on discussions with “relevant quarters.”  However, after further assessments brought up persistent safety concerns, the EU decided to keep its ban on Pakistani carriers.

Issues with PCAA

The decision comes after a thorough assessment by the EU Air Safety Committee, which is highlighted by the potential for further inspections.

The committee decided at its most recent meetings that there wasn’t enough justification to change the list of airlines that are currently banned from operating in the EU. The ruling is especially relevant to airlines that hold a Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) certification.

The PCAA’s involvement in safety monitoring was rigorously evaluated and several areas of concern were uncovered during an on-site review that took place from November 27 to November 30, 2023.

Corrective Action Plan

On May 6, the PCAA responded by presenting a corrective action plan that included the steps taken to address the identified issues. In May, this concept was brought up at a hearing with the EU safety committee.

Recommendations for Improvement

The panel also emphasized that a key component of a functional PCAA is maintaining leadership stability within the authority, which calls for the government’s ongoing support. It further stated that ramp inspections of air carriers certified in Pakistan should be prioritized by EU member states to confirm their effective adherence to applicable international safety standards.

Zayn

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