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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Pakistan International Airlines Seeks to Overturn EU ban

Pakistan is working to convince European air safety authorities to lift the six-month ban on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from operating in the European Union.

The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) suspended the airline’s authorisation to fly to the bloc in the wake of revelations that many Pakistani pilots have “dubious” licences.

According to EASA, the ban is from Wednesday and PIA has the right to appeal.

“The government, ministry of foreign affairs and PIA are working very closely.

“We hope that PIA’s suspension would soon be revoked with our confidence-building measures,’’ PIA spokesperson Abudullah Hafeez Khan told dpa.

Khan said that 150 pilots with suspicious licenses have been grounded however the EASA “is not satisfied with the process and about the qualification of remaining pilots.”

Even before the EU ban, PIA operations had already been reduced due to coronavirus pandemic.

In June, PIA announced it was grounding over a third of its pilots on suspicion of having “dubious” licences.

The move came after a PIA-operated Airbus A320 crashed in the Southern Pakistani city of Karachi, killing 97 passengers and crew.

Over the last decade, about 450 passengers and crew have died in four plane crashes in Pakistan, two each involving PIA and private airlines. (dpa/NAN)

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