European Union bans Pakistan International Airlines from flying to Europe for six months

WION Web Team NEW DELHI Jun 30, 2020, 11.33 PM(IST)

Pakistan airlines Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The move is a big blow to the airline, already under scrutiny the world over due to recently uncovered pitfalls within Pakistan’s aviation industry, such as pilots possessing "dubious" credentials -- or "fake" licences as put by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) on Tuesday said that it has suspended the authorisation for the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate in Europe for six months, while the UK Civil Aviation Agency has suspended PIA flight operations from three airports — Birmingham, London Heathrow and Manchester.

According to the statement issued by PIA, the airline is in "touch with EASA to allay their concerns and hopes that the suspension will be revoked with our CBMs soon".

The national flag carrier of Pakistan issued a statement on micro-blogging site Twitter and said that "EASA has suspended PIA's permission to operate to EU member states for 6 months w.e.f July 1, 2020: 0000Hrs UTC. PIA is in touch with EASA to allay their concerns and hopes that the suspension will be revoked with our CBMs soon."

The move is a big blow to the airline, already under scrutiny the world over due to recently uncovered pitfalls within Pakistan’s aviation industry, such as pilots possessing "dubious" credentials -- or "fake" licences as put by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

The minister on Friday had announced that the credentials of 262 pilots are "dubious" and thus they will be barred from flying. The pilots in the line of fire include 141 from PIA, nine from Air Blue and 10 from Serene Airline.

The rest of the 262 belong to flying clubs or chartered plane services, he said. He said all the airlines and the clubs had been conveyed that: "Their credentials are dubious, and they shouldn`t be allowed to fly.  "Last week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had expressed concern over the "serious lapse in-licensing and safety oversight by the aviation regulator".

(With inputs from ANI)