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EASA refuses to lift ban on PIA flights

Written by The Frontier Post

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Saturday refused to lift the ban on the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights to European Union countries maintaining that the ICAO audit of PIA has nothing to do with the EASA, on Saturday.

PIA authorities pinned many hopes on the ICAO audit for resumption of flights operation for Europe as PIA CEO had tweeted that ICAO audit as some sort of decisive step in resumption of flights but now in the latest development the EASA refused to accept the ICAO audit of PIA.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky wrote a reply letter to PIA CEO Arshad Malik and informed him about the update.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said the ICAO audit has no link with the Agency evaluation of the PIA and the European agency will evaluate the PIA itself.

He wrote, “EASA will consult other authorities to take the final decision to lift the ban on Pakistani airlines routes to the EU. EASA will conduct the audit of the Civil Aviation.”

However, EASA showed satisfaction with the PIA flight safety management and system.

EASA hinted that it may hire third country services to conduct an audit of the CAA/PIA.

EASA made it clear that its investigation regarding the professional licenses are still going on and EASA employee’s travelling has been restricted due to the COVID-19.

The EASA executive director told the PIA CEO that the European agency would conduct the audit of CAA/PIA as soon the corona situation improved and till then PIA could inform EASA about any update, if any.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently expressed satisfaction over safety measures taken by Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The satisfaction with the safety measures were earlier linked to the removal of the PCAA from the list of the safety-significant concern (SSC).

After a nod from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has reached out to the European regulator to remove a ban on its flights to EU states and the United Kingdom (UK), however, the response came back in negative.

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