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EU Ban on PIA flights to Remain as Some Conditions Still not Met

The Pakistan International Airlines’ flights to the European Union will remain banned as certain conditions put to the flag carrier were still “not met”, a letter seen by Geo News said.

The suspension, imposed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), took effect on July 1, 2020, after it came to light that pilots possessed “fake” licences, as put by the aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar.

The EASA, in the letter, expressed satisfaction over certain steps taken by the Civil Aviation Authority to improve the situation. However, it said that a further audit by the agency’s officials was imperative to revoke the ban.

“On 16 November 2020, your organisation provided the agency with a comprehensive set of documents as evidence to support the Implementation of the agreed Corrective Action Plan [CAP] for the remaining open level 1 finding related to identifying issues in your Safety Management System,” the letter said.

“The Agency reviewed the submitted material and found it satisfactory and sufficient as a first important step towards the closure of the above-mentioned finding,” it added. However, the agency said that the conditions that it had laid down in ART 205(c)(2) were not met.

In particular, the investigation conducted by the European Commission on the issuance of professional licenses was still on-going, which indicates that there is a possibility that the audit will not have the expected positive results, the letter noted.

“We propose to contact you for a next update of the situation as soon as the concerns regarding the issuance of professional licenses is investigated in full and satisfactorily resolved,” the latter said, that their officials would not be able to visit Pakistan amid coronavirus. “Meanwhile, the Agency will closely monitor the situation and further developments,” the letter added.

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