ISLAMABAD - Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique assured the lawmakers and the public that the national flag carrier would resume international operations to specific destinations soon.
In his address on the floor of the National Assembly, the minister said in the next three months, at least flights to the UK through Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will resume.
The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz lawmaker said after flight resumption to the UK, flights to the EU and America will resume.
The lawmaker said that after “historic” legislation done recently, the last remaining hindrance for flights to resume the UK operation had been removed.
Khawaja Saad Rafique also took aim at his predecessor, Ghulam Sarwar, and said his 'foolish statements' cost the country Rs70bn.
The flight operations of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to the United Kingdom and other European destinations were halted due to multiple issues including a statement by former aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar in which he had claimed that the licenses of most of the pilots of the national flag carrier were fake.
Direct flights between UK and Pakistan through Pakistan International Airlines are at a halt since July 2020. Not only that, direct flights through other carriers have also been affected.
At present, PIA’s vast network spans the globe, flying to 25 countries across Asia, Europe and North America, and to 24 cities within Pakistan.
In 2020, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) suspended Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight operations for Europe over safety concerns.
EASA said that they had suspended the Third Country Operator (TCO) Authorisation to PIA after it failed to comply with the proposed corrective action plans (CAPs).
At least six findings were raised with the PIA officials during meetings in June and September 2019, out of which five of the action plans were implemented while one other concerning element of a Safety Management System was not implemented.
Efforts have been made by a member of the UK Parliament, Naz Shah to resume direct flights to Pakistan and in this regard, the MP wrote a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport of the United Kingdom, Mark Harper to permit direct flights between the two countries.
The lawmaker - in her communication in May this year - emphasized that around 2,70,000 Pakistanis residing in the UK are affected by the flight disruption between the two countries.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.
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