BRUSSELS: The European Union has granted temporary permission to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate flights to and from the continent till July 3, confirmed a spokesperson of the national flag-carrier on Wednesday.
The development comes a day after the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) suspended the authorisation for the PIA to serve EU member states for six months amid concerns over the authenticity of licenses held by Pakistani pilots. In another blow to the airline the same day, the UK Civil Aviation Agency also suspended its flight operations from three major British airports — Birmingham, London’s Heathrow and Manchester.
The spokesperson said that two established PIA flights to and from Islamabad to London – PK-785 and PK-786 – will operate as per schedule. According to him, an announcement with regard to other flights will be made soon.
According to the spokesperson, the airline was allowed to land in the UK and Europe after the Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood reached out to his European counterparts. The EU states also permitted PIA to use their airspace, he said.
He confirmed that the airline’s administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its diplomats were in contact with European authorities over the issue of allegedly fake licenses.