European Aviation Safety Agency refuses to lift suspension of flights by Pakistani airlines

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Pakistan International Airlines’ hopes of restarting flights to key European destinations suffered a setback on Saturday after the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said that it would conduct its own evaluation before allowing resumption of flights from Pakistan.

In a letter to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chief Executive Officer Arshad Malik, EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said that although Pakistan was able to remove the safety concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), this was only part of the process that would lead to a lifting of restrictions on Pakistani airlines.

However, Patrick Ky notes that “EASA shall conduct an audit of the operator prior to lifting the suspension. Since deficiencies in state oversight were a contributor to the suspension decision, such [an] audit will have to include an assessment to verify if these deficiencies have been properly addressed and corrected.”

Pakistani carriers had been restricted from flying to EU states in July 2020 by EASA after the crash of a PIA Airbus A320 making 97 victims in May of the same year.

Source: Dawn

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