European Union Sets New Conditions for Resumption of PIA Flights

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has refused to allow Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to immediately resume its flight operations to the continent despite a go-ahead from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Its Executive Director, Patrick KY wrote to the PIA stating that it will conduct an audit of the operator prior to revoking the suspension.

His letter read: “We are pleased to hear that ICAO was able to remove the Significant Safety Concern (SSC) that was raised against Pakistan Personnel Licensing (PEL) following the on-site USOAP activities performed in Pakistan from 29 November to 10 December 2021”.

“The closure of this SSC was an important step towards a potential lifting of the suspension of your TCO Authorization (TCOA),” he added.

On the other hand, the EASA said that the removal of safety concerns by the ICAO does not affect the ban on PIA’s flights as the EASA still needs to evaluate the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority’s (PCAA) performance.

The Europe Union had suspended PIA operations in July 2020 after a scandal involving dubious pilot licenses. However, the UN’s aviation body, the ICAO, had cleared the PCAA in terms of resolving significant safety concerns earlier this month.

Resultantly, the Federal Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, had predicted that PIA’s operations to Europe would resume soon. “We are expecting PIA’s Europe operations to resume in February or March; the airline has made plans for the European operations,” he said.

However, the recent development has dented the prospects of an early resumption of PIA’s European flights.

The letter also detailed that the EU Commission will continue to engage with the PCAA and will monitor the measures taken to address the situation in Pakistan, including the outcome of a Union on-site assessment visit to Pakistan.

  • Could someone be kind enough to throw light on how much losses Pakistan has suffered from the day the PIA flights were blocked ?

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