PIA likely to resume flights to EU within two months, says aviation minister

Ghulam Sarwar says govt will file an appeal against EASA’s ban on PIA’s flights to EU on August 31

Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Friday said that the government is using all diplomatic and technical means to resume Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights to Europe within the next two months.

According to a report published by a local media outlet, the aviation minister said that the national flag carrier is in contact with European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) and is taking necessary corrective actions to address concerns raised by the agency over safety and pilot licensing issues in PIA.

He said that the government will file an appeal against EASA’s ban on PIA on August 31.

Earlier, flying licenses of 262 PIA pilots were termed ‘dubious’ leading to EASA suspending PIA’s authorisation to operate in European Union (EU) states. The United Kingdom also followed suit, suspending PIA flights to London, Birmingham and Manchester.

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According to the report, the aviation minister said that PIA flights to Europe are currently being managed through a court sharing arrangement, through which the national carrier flies passengers to Turkey who then take a subsequent flight to EU states or the UK.

The aviation minister said that the court sharing arrangement has been made on a temporary basis and added that PIA would restore its operations to the EU within two months.

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