KARACHI: European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Tuesday announced to suspend Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight operations for Europe over safety concerns,
The suspension will come into force from Wednesday and will remain in place for six months.
All PIA flights to Europe will remain suspended after the order as the national flag carrier has asked passengers to either refund their tickets or extend them for a later date.
Speaking over the development, a PIA spokesman said that they were in touch with the European authorities over the matter. “We are taking measures to allay their concerns,” he said while hoping that the suspension would be lifted soon.
The EASA in a letter conveyed to the national flag carrier, said that they had suspended the Third Country Operator (TCO) Authorisation to PIA after it failed to comply with the proposed corrective action plans (CAPs).
It said that six findings were raised with the PIA officials during meetings in June and September 2019, out of which five of the action plans were implemented while one other concerning elements of a Safety Management Systems was not implemented.
It further quoted the Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar’s remarks at the floor of the National Assembly, where he said that 260 out of 860 pilots’ licenses issued by the Pakistani authorities and used by pilots operating for air operators certified in Pakistan are fraudulent.
Taking the above mentioned issues into consideration, it suspended the PIA flight operations in Europe for six months.
The EASA, however, said that it could review any appeal from Pakistan over the matter while the suspension could also be extended for another three months if conditions set by them are not implemented.