European Union Bans Pakistan International Airlines

Filed Under: Other Airlines

This seems appropriate…

European Union bans PIA

The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has banned Pakistan International Airlines from operating flights to member countries for a period of six months. The ban will kick in as of July 1, and last through December 31, 2020.

As a spokesperson for the airline confirms:

“EASA has temporarily suspended PIA’s authorization to operate to the EU member states for a period of 6 months effective July 1, 2020 with the right to appeal against this decision.”

Arguably if you’re going to be banned from flying somewhere, it’s rather convenient for that to be the case during the current pandemic, given how much demand is down. That’s especially true when we’re talking about the EU, given the travel restrictions that are in place.

Pakistan International Airlines is now banned from the European Union

Why is PIA banned from the EU?

This development is coming after Pakistan’s Minister for Aviation revealed that 262 of 860 pilots in Pakistan have “fake” licenses.

Specific to Pakistan International Airlines, which is Pakistan’s largest airline, it was found that around 150 pilots were believed to hold fake credentials. Based on what we know, many people had other people take tests for them, because they weren’t otherwise qualified to fly.

The airline had acknowledged this information, and said it was working on correcting the problem:

“PIA acknowledges the AAIB report and have already taken measures learning from it. An independent Flight Data Monitoring setup established to monitor & analyze all flights. All pilots with dubious licenses will be grounded. Safety is more imp. than any commercial interest”

All of this came to light after a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 crashed last month, killing nearly 100 people. The government had released preliminary findings of the crash, blaming it on human error. The investigation also revealed how many pilots in the country allegedly held fake credentials.

PIA 777 business class

Bottom line

PIA has long been a basket case of an airline, though little has been done to fix things. With the recent revelation by Pakistan’s Minister for Aviation, it’s hard to ignore the serious safety risks posed by PIA planes.

Maybe if enough countries and regions ban PIA, the airline will be forced to change.

What do you make of PIA being banned from the EU?

Comments
  1. 6 months? that is all? RIght now there aren’t many flights into EU anyway and it will take at least 6 months to ramp things up. So this isn’t anything harmful to PIA. Where is FAA in this?

  2. EASA outshining the FAA once again. Another case of how effective the regulatory agencies of the EU are. I am so sad the UK is leaving the EU for this reason and sincerely hope that Britain will continue to follow all EU regulations after brexit.

  3. @Daniel: there is no such international regulation which says all aviation authorities have to follow EASA or any other agencies. They are all independent. So let them be independent and take their own decisions.

  4. @endre you may be right in the sense that with the current situation the effect of the ban on PIA may not be as considerable, but from what a Pakistani friend of mine told me, PIA’s winter flights to the UK tend to be packed (which isn’t a surprise given how large the UK’s Pakistani community is).

    Yes, travel won’t fully recover by Christmas, but I wouldn’t really consider this to not be harmful for PIA. Especially when considering that they’ll have to get the necessary proof to justify their airworthiness to EASA

  5. I think this *does* include the UK. Because what the EASA are saying isn’t that they’re not just prohibited from operating to/from EU airports, it’s also that they’re banned from EU airspace. So unless PIA wants a lengthy detour through the Middle East and North Africa, they have to suspend UK flights as well.

  6. The reason the FAA isn’t on this is that PIA stopped serving the United States in 2017. Because of the terrible security situation in Pakistan, the American authorities had required the inbound flight to JFK to stop in Manchester for a security check before continuing to New York. But the flight has been gone for a while now. So this isn’t an issue for American regulators.

    The real question is what the Canadian regulators will do. PIA continues to serve Toronto, though the flights may be suspended due to COVID-19.

  7. Keep “shining” EASA as Daniel would say and allow Iran’s terrorist airline to continue flying over your heads.

  8. @ray @chrisC I know that UK is following EU regulations until December 2020. I was expressing concern about what could happen after then if there was regulatory divergence.

    @anon @christian Okay, but did the FAA ban PIA from flying in US Airspace as well?

  9. @Daniel Why don’t you look at a map and tell us on which routes PIA is using US airspace. Dumb as Trump.

  10. Why are the comments here looking for punishment: “This won’t hurt PIA…” ??

    Isn’t the entire point just to make sure that all airlines that land in the EU are safe? The point is, surely, to stop landings until the situation has been fixed. If it hasn’t they’ll extend it.

  11. @Anon: In a sane world, Canada would ban PIA too. Of course, Justin wouldn’t want to risk offending the Pakistani community, so my guess is we won’t actually do it. Instead, we’ll probably just get another one of his speeches about how Canada is a diverse and welcoming nation that values connections to all parts of the world (bonus points if he refers to Canada as a village or uses the term “racialized”; if he manages to blame the whole thing on colonialism you win the jackpot).

  12. Pakistan has been corrupted to the core. Failure of previous governments is coming to light. Before current government came to power PIA was on the brink of collapse. This was done on purpose so that individuals in the previous government could gain financially.

  13. I’m sure any country that is accepting this carrier to land will now ban it, no loss it was a crap airline but sad for its country

  14. @Arcanum, why are you criticizing Trudeau for saying that Canada is a diverse and welcoming country? These are positive things. It sounds like you don’t want Canada to be diverse and welcoming or to have connections to all parts of the world. It sounds like you don’t want black and brown people here in Canada. Your comments sound a lot like racism, and I’m calling you out on it.

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