Pakistan is expressing optimism about the prospect of reinstating direct flights to Uk and Europe with upcoming visits from aviation audit teams later this year.
In October, the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT), a safety agency, is planning to dispatch a delegation to Pakistan to conduct an audit encompassing safety management systems, flight data monitoring, and aircraft, according to reports from ARY News.
Both Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are slated to undergo this comprehensive audit. PIA’s spokesperson has affirmed their readiness to accommodate the DfT’s delegation during their visit to Pakistan.
It is anticipated that after the assessments conducted by the DfT and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Pakistan will be in a position to resume direct flights to the UK and various European countries.
PIA had been prohibited from operating direct flights to these regions for approximately three years. Nevertheless, the airline maintained indirect flight operations via an agreement with Turkish Airlines in the UK, generating an annual revenue of around £14 million.
The airline had also faced scrutiny over its hiring practices for personnel in the UK. In response, PIA’s spokesperson clarified that only 1.8 percent of the airline’s earnings were allocated for its workforce in the UK.
Expanding on their operational efforts, the spokesperson revealed that country managers and sales managers have been appointed to facilitate the swift resumption of direct flights to the UK.
PIA’s exclusion from flying to the European Union, the UK, and the US stemmed from a 2020 scandal involving fake pilot licenses, which has cast a shadow over the airline’s international operations.