PIA to file appeal for flights resumption to EU countries

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is likely to lodge an appeal with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Thursday against suspension of its flight operations to and from the bloc’s member states for six months, sources said.

The decision to suspend the flag carrier’s flight operations, in the wake of Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan’s disclosure during a speech in the National Assembly about the grounding of 262 pilots whose commercial flying licences were found ‘suspicious’, was enforced on July 1., reports Dawn news

According to sources, the appeal has been prepared by the PIA and the authorities concerned and it will be presented to the Aviation Division before lodging it with the EASA.

The sources said that after the issue of pilots’ suspicious licences came to light and the EASA suspended authorisation of PIA flights to and from the EU member countries, the agency asked the Pakistani authorities to clarify 11 points — safety management system (SMS) being the most important one.

The EASA also asked as to how the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA) had been functioning, how it issued commercial pilot licences to applicants and how the candidates solved their examination papers.

According to the sources, before lodging the appeal with the EASA, the PIA will give a presentation in the Aviation Division.

Before the EASA suspended the PIA flights on July 1, the airline was given an opportunity to voice its opinion on the agency’s intentions to suspend the authorisation.

The PIA provided its opinion, but it was declared insufficient by the EASA.

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