In a fresh directive, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has revealed that its cabin crew’s passports will be confiscated on arrival abroad. The passports would be returned at the time of check-in on departing flights. The decision was taken in order to control recent incidents of staff “slipping away” in foreign countries. There have been two recent incidents of cabin crew going missing in Canada.
The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has refused to allow Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to resume its flight operations to and from European countries without the safety audit of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and has extended the ban for three months. The national carrier had requested the EASA for provisional permission following its fulfillment of several prescribed conditions.
Saudi Arabia has suspended all international commercial flights for a renewable week except for the foreign flights already in the kingdom. The entry to the kingdom through land and sea ports will be also suspended for a renewable week. These measures come after the spread of a new strain of Covid-19 among a number of countries.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is planning to lay off 3,000 employees through a voluntary retirement scheme this year to reduce its annual losses by Rs4.5 billion ($28.26 million). The Pakistani government approved the national flag carrier’s voluntary separation scheme (VSS) to remove the employees from service. PIA management is now seeking about Rs12.7 billion from the government to compensate them.
The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City owned by PIA is going to be shut down because of financial issues. Built on prime land in Manhattan in 1924, the hotel was leased by PIA in 1979 along with a Saudi prince. PIA bought the hotel in 1999 for $36.5 million and in 2005 bought the Saudi prince’s share.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has advised Pakistan to suspend the issuance of any new pilot licences in the wake of a scandal over falsified licenses. The recommendations from ICAO, a specialised agency of the United Nations that works to ensure safety in international air transport, has asked Pakistan to undertake “immediate corrective actions”.
A Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) Peshawar-bound flight, made an emergency landing at Karachi International airport after developing a mid-air technical fault. As per details, flight PK-218’s hydraulic system went out of order on the way from Abu Dhabi. The aircraft’s pilot contacted the air traffic control (ATC) tower in Karachi and apprised them of the situation, after which the aircraft was safely landed.
The Aviation Division, on Friday, suspended 15 more pilots raising the number of suspended pilots to 93. The 15 are among the 262 pilots possessing suspicious licences. The licences of 28 others have already been cancelled. The suspended pilots will not be able to undertake any flying duty and their licences have been cancelled after proper legal procedures.
The Aviation Division has said that credentials of almost all Pakistani pilots working in foreign airlines have been confirmed. Since the news about dubious licences made waves internationally, airlines in 10 countries had demanded proof of valid flying licences for their Pakistani pilots. Of the 176 such pilots, 166 have been verified as authentic by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) Pakistan.
While expressing concern over recent safety issue with PIA, Omani Civil Aviation Authority warned Pakistan that the national flag carrier could be barred from using its airspace. The Omani authorities also asked Islamabad to explain what measures had been taken to ensure safety of flights. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) assured that credentials of all pilots had been scrutinised to ensure flight safety.