The European Union (EU) has extended its ban on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) operations for a further three months.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) declined to allow Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) without the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) safety audit to resume its flight operations to and from European countries and stretched the ban for another three months.
The new development was confirmed by a senior PIA officer who claimed that, following its fulfillment of several specified conditions, the national carrier had applied to the EASA for provisional approval.
“We told European Union Air Safety (EASA) that they could conduct a security audit of PIA without the involvement of CAA and in the meantime, PIA requested the regulatory body to allow provisional authorization,” PIA official said.
However, the EASA replied that approval could not be given until its audit report was issued by the CAA.
The inquiry has not yet been completed by the European Commission and the ICAO. Therefore, because all the prerequisites for lifting the suspension have not been satisfied and an audit is required, the Agency has agreed not to annul the Third Country Operator Authorization but instead decided to prolong the suspension period by an additional three months.
Meanwhile, the official clarified that the ban was not on PIA, but on Pakistan and that it would not be lifted until changes to the satisfaction of the EASA were implemented by the regulator.
The EASA told PIA that it is investigating the issue of the ‘false’ pilot licenses and that after the required audit, it will review the ban, adding that due to the pandemic, its officials cannot visit Pakistan.