European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended Pakistan International Airline’s (PIA) authorization to operate in European Union member countries for the next 6 months.
EASA’s decision is set to come into effect from tomorrow, 1 July. However, EASA has accorded PIA the right to appeal against its decision.
EASA has suspended PIA's permission to operate to EU member states for 6 months w.e.f July 1, 2020: 0000Hrs UTC. PIA is in touch with EASA to allay their concerns and hopes that the suspension will be revoked with our CBMs soon.
— PIA (@Official_PIA) June 30, 2020
As a result of this decision, PIA has been forced to discontinue its Coronavirus repatriation operations to and from the European Union states with immediate effect.
Ticket holders of PIA can either apply for a full refund or extend their bookings for a later date.
EASA’s ban on PIA has come days after the startling revelations made by Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, in the National Assembly while presenting the investigation report of PIA’s PK-8303 crash regarding the fake licenses possessed by most of the national carrier’s pilots.
Acting on the investigation report of PK-8303, PIA immediately terminated the employment of its 150 out of 434 pilots.
In addition to EASA’s ban, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of 290 international airlines, has expressed grave reservations on the Aviation Minister’s disclosure on the floor of the house.
PIA pilots with fake licenses flying to hundreds of destinations around the globe is a serious lapse in the safety protocols on part of the PIA, read the official statement of IATA.
Certainly, the scandalous dereliction by the PIA in vetting the licenses before hiring pilots has marred Pakistan’s image internationally.