Pakistan's PIA to file appeal against Europe entry ban, to operate 2 flights today

Pakistani airline hopes that the suspension will be revoked with its confidence-building measures soon

  
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane prepares to take-off at Alama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore February 1, 2012.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane prepares to take-off at Alama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore February 1, 2012.

REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will file an appeal against suspension of its flight operations for six months by the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) and is confident of getting the decision reversed soon, the airline said.

In a series of tweets, the national flag carrier said it is in touch with Easa to allay their concerns and hoped that the suspension will be revoked with its confidence-building measures soon.

The airline further said its flights PK719 from Lahore to Milan and PK720 Milan to Lahore on July 1 will operate as per schedule. The flights PK785 from Islamabad to London Heathrow and PK786 from London Heathrow to Islamabad will also operate as per intended schedule, it tweeted.

"PIA would discontinue all its flights to Europe temporarily as the Easa has suspended the airline's authorisation to operate to the EU member states for a period of six months effective July 1, with the right to appeal against this decision," according to a PIA statement.

Last week, Pakistan's Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan announced the grounding of 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams. Majority of these pilots belong to PIA (141) and the list also includes pilots of Airblue (9), Serene Air (10), and Shaheen Airlines (17).

The PIA said the proposed list showed discrepancies as 36 pilots on it had either retired or moved out.

The second largest carrier Airblue said seven of the pilots on the list are no more working for the airline while Shaheen Airlines has already grounded its fleet since 2018 due to financial crisis.

The national carrier sincerely hopes that with "reparative and swift actions taken by the Pakistan government and PIA management", earliest possible lifting of this suspension can be expected, the PIA statement said.

"PIA is in contact with EASA to allay their concerns and to take necessary corrective measures along with filing the appeal against the decision," it added.

The Pakistani national flag carrier flies to most European capitals, including Paris Charles De Gaulle, Rome Fiumicino and Amsterdam. In the UK, PIA flies to London Heathrow, Birmingham and Manchester.

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