U.S. follows Europe’s example and bans all Pakistan International Airlines flights

Pakistan International Airlines ©AirTeamImages

In the wake of the grounding of nearly one-third of all Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) pilots, the U.S has followed in the footsteps of the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA)and has revoked the permission for PIA charter flights to fly to the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Transportation took such action on the recommendation of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) owing to its concerns over the validity of pilot certifications. A copy of the revocation of special authorization was dated July 1 and a copy was sent to Reuters news agency.

The EASA issued a six-month ban on PIA flights on June 30 on discovering that up to 262 pilots at PIA had “dubious licenses”. Investigations into the validity of PIA pilots’ licenses began after the fatal crash in May of a PIA jet that crashed after a failed landing attempt which killed all but one of the passengers and crew on board, and one civilian on the ground.

“It is a setback for us,” the PIA’s spokesman, Abdullah H. Khan told Reuters in an email. The airline was planning to expand the current special flights arrangements to re-initiate a regular schedule from Pakistan to the United States to provide direct flights, he said. “We are continuously engaged with them and sincerely hope that with the confidence building measures, the decision would be reviewed,” Khan added.

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