Pakistani flag carrier applies to resume European flights: Minister | Aviation News

The Minister of Aviation stated that the PIA application was made after the ICAO approved the airline in a safety audit.

Karachi, Pakistan – The Minister of Aviation of Pakistan stated that the flag carrier of South Asian countries, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), is expected to restart European flight operations that were suspended in 2020 due to safety issues before March.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan said at a press conference in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Thursday that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had cleared Pakistan Airlines from a safety audit conducted at the end of last year, and PIA had applied to resume European operations.

The European aviation regulatory agency, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), suspended Pakistan Airlines flights in 2020 after an Airbus A320 passenger plane crashed in Karachi, Pakistan. 97 passengers killed And triggered subsequent government investigations Fraudulent permission practice.

On Thursday, Aviation Minister Khan stated that after the investigation, the licenses of 50 Pakistani pilots had been cancelled and five Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority officials were fired and charged with fraud.

He said that at least eight PIA pilots were fired due to the investigation.

“We hope in February or March [PIA flight] Business in Europe will restart,” he said.

July 2020, Al Jazeera survey Extensive allegations of fraud in Pakistan’s pilot licensing process were discovered. Several pilots also expressed concerns about safety standards, and a senior pilot described the situation as “a time bomb.”

Since 2010, there have been five major commercial or charter passenger plane crashes in Pakistan, resulting in at least 445 deaths.

Official reports indicate that multiple non-fatal aircraft accidents occurred during the same period, including engine shutdown during flight, undercarriage failure, runway runway, and at least one ground collision.

After the audit team visited the country at the end of 2021, ICAO issued clear instructions to Pakistan’s civil aviation regulatory agency to resolve major safety issues, and announced Thursday’s announcement the next day.

Khan said that Pakistan is reforming its pilot certification procedures and has signed an agreement with the British civil aviation authority to certify and test pilots together with the agency.

Asad Hashim is a digital correspondent for Al Jazeera in Pakistan. He tweeted @AsadHashim.