Australia Issues Clarification on PIA’s Direct Flight From Next Month

Recently, several media reports claimed that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is set to commence direct flight operations to and from Australia from next month.

However, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has clarified that the PIA has not applied for the local air operator’s certificate required to operate flights to and from the country.

Sources within the CASA said that even if the PIA had sought regulatory approval for operating flights to Australia, the organization would not have approved its application considering the bans on it from the US, EU, and the UK.

Note here that in July 2020, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had banned the entry of the national flag carrier. US’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) soon followed in the footsteps of EASA.

The worldwide bans on PIA were imposed after the Federal Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, while presenting the preliminary investigation report of the PIA flight PK-8303 crash in the parliament, revealed that most pilots of the national carrier possessed fake licenses.

The EASA has extended the ban on PIA a couple of times, with the latest extension announced in January this year. Considering CASA’s clarification, it seems that PIA will not be allowed to operate flights to and from Australia until either one of EASA, FAA, or CAA revokes the ban.