PIA Close to Approval for Direct Flights to the US

A US Transport Security Administration (TSA) team is on a visit to Pakistan to inspect international airports and grant PIA permission to begin direct flights to the US.

On Monday, the TSA team visited the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) to inspect the operations, facilities, and security measures at the airport.

The team will also visit Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore and Jinnah International Airport Karachi in the coming days.

As per the details, TSA members will also call upon the Aviation Secretary, Nasir Hussain Jamy, to discuss matters linked with aviation and security.

PIA has been negotiating with TSA for a breakthrough for the past 2 years. Aviation Division has implemented all the measures TSA has demanded thus far, including the installation of screening machines at the 3 airports.

The US had been reluctant to allow any direct flight from Pakistan into its airspace due to security concerns. Considering the current security situation in Pakistan, it seems highly likely that TSA will grant clearance to PIA.

If PIA receives the final clearance from TSA at the conclusion of their visit, it will be the first time that a Pakistani airline will start direct flights to the US.

Reports are suggesting that 3 flights every week will be scheduled for New York initially. PIA will increase the number of direct flights and cover more destinations in the US later on.

Although PIA had 2 flights scheduled every week to New York until 2017, it included layovers either at Manchester or Dubai.

The national flag carrier was forced to discontinue flights to the US amid soaring operational expenses and losses.

A team of US Department of Transportation (DOT) also visited different international airports of Pakistan earlier this year.