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EU to retain ban on PIA flights

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Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has moved to retain its ban on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights from operating in the bloc’s member states, expressing dissatisfaction over the steps taken by Islamabad’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to address licensing and safety concerns, the media reported on Friday.

Responding to a letter sent by the PIA, the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) on Thursday told the flag carrier that since the CAA had not taken any steps to address the licensing system, the ban will remain in effect, The Express Tribune reported.

It said the CAA needed to under a safety audit, adding that the ban can only be lifted if the Pakistani aviation regulatory body cleared the audit.

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In June, the EASA had suspended PIA flights operations in Europe for six months in the wake of the grounding of 262 Pakistani pilots whose licences were termed “dubious” by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

Following the EASA’s move, the UK Civil Aviation Authority also withdrew PIA’s permit to operate from the Birmingham, London and Manchester airports.

–IANS

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