KARACHI: The ban imposed by the European Union on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight operations is expected to be lifted next month as European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) team is set to visit Pakistan at the end of May.
PIA was restricted from flying to EU states, the US and the UK last year in July after the EASA suspended the national airline’s authorisation to operate flights to EU member states.
The restrictions were imposed in the wake of the May 20, 2022 Karachi plane crash and a statement by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar that around 40 per cent of Pakistani pilots had fake licences.
The EASA delegation will visit Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and PIA Headquarters during their visit to Pakistan at the end of May or the start of June.
The EASA team will carry out a safety audit of CAA and PIA prior to allowing flights from Pakistan to European countries and the United Kingdom (UK), said sources.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) earlier this week expressed satisfaction over safety measures taken by Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The satisfaction with the safety measures has led to removal of the PCAA from the list of the safety-significant concern (SSC).
It is pertinent to mention here that the PIA hopes of restarting flights to EU states faded when the EASA conveyed to former CEO PIA Arshad Malik in January 2022 that it would conduct its own evaluation before allowing resumption of flights from Pakistan.