- UK, which is no longer a part of the EU since after Brexit, has also banned certain PIA flights
Amid the controversy around the alleged fake licences of hundreds of Pakistani pilots, operations of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in Europe were on Tuesday banned for six months by the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA).
According to a spokesperson of the national carrier, EASA has suspended PIA’s authorisation to operate in European Union member states for six months effective July 1, 2020 at midnight.
A statement from the national carrier added that PIA would discontinue all its flights to Europe temporarily.
All passengers booked on its flights to European destinations will have the option to either extend their bookings to a later date or get a full refund.
“PIA is in contact with EASA to allay their concerns and to take necessary corrective measures along with filing the appeal against the decision,” the press release said.
The national flag carrier said it “sincerely hopes that with reparative and swift actions taken by the Pakistani government and PIA management, earliest possible lifting of this suspension can be expected”.
Meanwhile, according to journalist Murtaza Ali Shah, United Kingdom (UK), which is no longer a part of the EU since after Brexit but remains subject to EU law, has also suspended PIA flights from and to Birmingham, Heathrow in London, and Manchester with immediate effect.
“The UK Civil Aviation Authority is required under law to withdraw PIA’s permit to operate to the UK pending EASA’s restoration of their approval that it meets international air safety standards,” the journalist quoted a spokesperson as saying.
The moves follow the grounding of hundreds of pilots whose licences Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan termed “dubious”. Most pilots were affiliated with PIA.