PIA Forced Off Its Landing Spots in Heathrow Airport

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has temporarily given two foreign airlines seven of its landing slots at London’s Heathrow Airport, one of the most important and busiest airports in the world.

Six of the landing slots have been given to Turkish Airlines for a period of six months,  while one of them will be used by Kuwait Airways.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) will be signing the agreement in Istanbul, after which the foreign airlines will be able to use PIA’s slots temporarily.

This decision was taken after the airport asked the national airline to withdraw its expensive landing slots as they were not being used following a ban on PIA flights by the European Union (EU).

PIA subsequently decided to let the foreign airlines temporarily use the seven mandatory landing slots at Heathrow Airport since their cancelation would have affected the airline’s future operations in London, forcing it to divert to second-tier airports like Gatwick or Luton.

A PIA spokesperson explained that the landing slots will be acquired back after the six-month ‘babysitting’ period, just in time to be available for PIA’s own operations. He said that the Federal Minister For Aviation, Khawaja Saad Rafique, was supervising the matter himself.