US Also Bans PIA Flights Over Fake Licences Concerns

United States’ Department of Transportation has revoked the permission it granted to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate special direct flights to US.

The authority informed the national flag carries through an email on Thursday. It said, “The authorisation is revoked due to recent events identified by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority that are of serious concern to aviation safety, specifically matters pertaining to the proper certification of certain Pakistani pilots.”

In April, the authority had granted a permission to PIA to operate 12 direct flights to the US to repatriate the stranded Pakistanis due to coronavirus lockdown. It was the first time that Pakistan's national flag carrier operated direct flights to the US.

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan has confirmed that the airline had been notified of the permission being withdrawn via email. "It is a setback for us. However we are keeping very close coordination with US Department of Transportation and we sincerely hope that with the reformative process already underway, they will review their decision to revoke the permissions,” PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez told English daily DAWN.

Earlier, the European Union and British aviation authorities had barred the airline from flying to their airports for at least six months, Following the disclosure by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan in National Parliament that 150 PIA pilots were holding ‘dubious’ licences.

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