KARACHI: The National Flag Carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) expects to resume direct flights to the United States from May 2020 “subject to a final clearance by the US Transportation Security Administration.
That was told by PIA’s spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez on Thursday, January 23.
Abdullah said that Pakistan had fulfilled all recommendations of the transport authority, such as using screening machines at major airports of Pakistan including Islamabad and Karachi.
He added that talks between the US administration and the national airline had been underway for two years, adding that “from our end we have taken all measures that were advised”. A delegation of the US transport authority is expected to issue a final clearance in May, he said.
He said PIA had a ready plan in hand for New York Sector according to which initially three flights a week will take off for New York, but the frequency will be increased with the passage of time.
According to the PIA official, the US transport security authority had conducted an audit of security arrangements of the PIA fleet and at the country’s major airports. US homeland security had also visited Pakistan in this regard, he said.
Owing to security concerns, the US did not allow any direct flight that originated at a Pakistani airport into its airspace. In October 2017, the PIA had discontinued its indirect flights to the US because of rising operational cost and in a bid to cut losses it had been facing.