Pakistan Aviation Ministry is hoping resumption of UK flights in next 3 months. Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique informed that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is likely to resume UK flights in the next quarter.
Rafique said that the new legislation has removed the final hurdle for Pakistani operators to fly to United Kingdom.
Pakistan : Resumption of UK flights
Make sure that Pakistan ‘s resumption of flights to UK does not mean resumption of flights to entire Europe. Flights to other European routes will be added later on. However, the Aviation Minister did not provide any details about the legislation or why it was required to resume the flights.
Europe and America soon
Khawaja said that after 3 months, flights to United Kingdom will resume with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) operating the service. Later on, flights to Europe and America will also resume.
Recently, Virgin Atlantic operated its last flight from Pakistan. The carrier suspended its 3X weekly service between Islamabad and London Heathrow.
Why were Pakistani Airlines banned?
In July 2020, many countries like United Kingdom, United States and Canada imposed a ban on Pakistan International Airlines operations due to concerns regarding authenticity of pilot licenses.
Before this, in June 2020, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also did the same. Because of this ban, 262 Pakistani pilots were grounded. 141 of these were working for Pakistan International Airlines.
Countries were banning Pakistani Operators because it was discovered that pilots had obtained their licenses through fraudulent means.
UK/Europe important for PIA
Pakistan International Airlines spokesperson Abdullah H Khan said that the airline is eagerly looking forward to resumption of United Kingdom routes. He added that 37% of the airline’s revenue comes from UK and European routes.
Aviation Minister Rafique said that PIA has been hit hard because of the fake pilot license scandal. Restructuring of PIA is the need of the hour and billions of dollars will be needed for the restructuring process.
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Source : Reuters