The United Kingdom and European Union are suspending all flights of Pakistan’s national airline, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). All operations to and from their airports will be suspended.
As there is a controversial statement by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan that nearly 300 PIA pilots have suspected licenses.
However, the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) on June 30, made an announcement that they are suspending the authorization for PIA to operate in Europe for the next six months.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Agency is suspending operations of PIA’s flight from Birmingham, London Heathrow and Manchester effective immediately.
Pilots With Fake License
The PIA is grounding its 262 Pakistani pilots whose licenses are fake according to the country’s aviation minister.“The EASA has temporarily suspended PIA’s authorization to operate to the EU member states for a period of six months effective July 1, 2020, with the right to appeal against this decision,” a PIA statement said.
A spokesperson for the PIA said, “EU has suspended PIA for six months which is starting from 1 July 2020. This ban comes in the aftermath of the pilots’ license controversy which severely disrupted the confidence of the EU.”
PIA Trying to Win Back Confidence
However, PIA is taking new measures to build confidence again. It will help them to the decision as soon as possible. Moreover, the spokesperson said that they have not received any official instructions on this matter.
The PIA would be filing an appeal next week. And would try to sort out the issue within the shortest possible time.
Response From UK Civil Aviation Agency
A spokesperson for the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) said: “Following the decision on 30 June 2020, by the EASA to suspend permission for PIA to operate services to the European Union, PIA flights from Birmingham, London Heathrow, and Manchester airports are suspended with immediate effect.”
In addition, he said, “The UK Civil Aviation Authority is required under law to withdraw PIA’s permit to operate to the UK pending EASA’s restoration of their approval that it meets international air safety standards.”
However, there are more than 1.6 million British Pakistanis in the UK. And there is almost regularly traveling to and from the UK to Pakistan. Moreover, PIA was flying about 25 flights to the UK every week. And flying about 7,500 passengers every week.
Prime Minister Imran Khan told the Parliament he would reform PIA and other government institutions.
“I want to tell my nation: We have no other option, reforms are inevitable,” he said Tuesday. Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan informs that aiming reforms for restructuring PIA would be completed by the end of the year.
The Air Plane Crash
Unfortunately, on May 22, a PIA aircraft crashed, landing into houses in Karachi. There were about 97 people on the plane who lost their lives. And a child on the ground also lost his life.
After the investigations, two pilots were to blame. As they were talking about the coronavirus while they first attempted to land the Airbus A320 without putting its wheels down.
European Ban Affecting Other Flights
However, the European air space has allowed the PIA to overfly over Europe. Europe has given the airline four days time to operate flights to take back stranded Pakistanis.
Moreover, in a late-night announcement, the PIA said by the ban by EASA its flights for three destinations, including Oslo, Milan, and Paris, would be affected. Whereas, there is no restriction on overflying.