EU safety agency retains ban on Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistani International Airlines (PIA) aeroplanes taxi on a runway at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore on March 6, 2007. (AFP/File)
Short Url
Updated 04 December 2020

EU safety agency retains ban on Pakistan International Airlines

  • Suspension in June followed Pakistan’s grounding of 262 of the country’s 860 pilots, including 141 of PIA’s 434, over “dubious” licenses
  • Pakistan’s grounding of the pilots followed a preliminary report on a PIA crash in Karachi that killed 97 people in May

ISLAMABAD: The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has decided to continue its suspension of Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) authorization to fly to the bloc, Pakistani media reported on Friday, in what is being described as a ‘blow’ to the carrier’s operations.
The suspension in June followed Pakistan’s grounding of 262 of the country’s 860 pilots, including 141 of PIA’s 434, whose licenses the country’s aviation minister had termed “dubious”.
The grounding of the pilots followed a preliminary report on a PIA crash in Karachi that killed 97 people in May.
“On 16 November 2020, your organization 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,” a letter from EASA, quoted by Pakistan’s Geo News channel, said.
“The Agency reviewed the submitted material and found it satisfactory and sufficient as a first important step toward the closure of the above-mentioned finding,” it added.
However, the agency said the investigation conducted by the European Commission on the issuance of professional licenses was still ongoing, and the audit might not have positive results.
“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 letter said. “In the meantime, the Agency will closely monitor the situation and further developments.”


Pakistan’s national flag carrier to bring back impounded plane by approaching Malaysian court

Updated 15 January 2021

Pakistan’s national flag carrier to bring back impounded plane by approaching Malaysian court

  • A Pakistan International Airlines plane was ‘held back’ by Malaysian authorities after a local court issued a verdict against the airlines in a payment dispute
  • The national flag career called the situation ‘unacceptable,’ announced to send its legal team to the court to present its case

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines announced on Friday its legal team would approach a court in Malaysia that ordered to impound one of its planes that was scheduled to fly out of Kuala Lumpur earlier in the day and bring back passengers to Pakistan. 

“PIA was facing a payment dispute with another company and the matter was being heard by a court in the United Kingdom for the last six months,” said the airlines spokesman, Abdullah Khan, in a video message. “The same company also took a stay order against us in another country [Malaysia] and a local court issued an ex-party decision against the airlines without serving it a notice or hearing its stance.” 

Khan added that the PIA legal team would pursue the matter with Pakistan's official and diplomatic assistance. 

“It is important to mention here that this incident was timed to somewhat mitigate our response since it happened ahead of the weekend,” he maintained. “However, our legal team will take up the matter in the Malaysian court immediately after the weekend and we are hopeful to resolve this issue as soon as possible.” 

Pakistan’s foreign office also issued a statement on Friday, saying its diplomatic mission in Malaysia was in close contact with relevant authorities over the detained plane and its stranded passengers. 

“The passengers are being properly looked after and alternate arrangements for their travel have also been finalized,” the foreign office spokesperson, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, said while responding to a media query. 

“They will be departing Kuala Lumpur by EK 343 later tonight,” he added. 

The PIA plane was held back by Malaysian authorities over a British court case, PIA said in an earlier statement, adding it would pursue the matter through diplomatic channels. 

“A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking a one-sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court,” a PIA spokesman said in a statement. 

The national carrier’s statement said the situation was “unacceptable” and that it had asked for support from Pakistan’s government to raise the matter diplomatically. Malaysian authorities did not immediately respond to request for comment.