PIA allowed to operate 12 direct flights to US
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The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been allowed to operate direct flights to the United States, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Thursday.
On April 25, PIA had contacted the US authorities seeking permission for direct special flights to New York to repatriate stranded Pakistanis.
PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Air Marshal Arshad Malik in a letter sent to the State Department and the American ambassador in Islamabad sought clearance to operate special flights. He said the PIA will use Boeing 777 for these flights.
The PIA CEO also said that the planes will take Americans stuck in Pakistan to New York and will bring back Pakistanis stranded in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The CEO also cited a recent audit of the PIA conducted by America’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security in which the TSA expressed the satisfaction about the functioning of the Pakistan airline.
The TSA also endorsed PIA’s security and safety system, the CEO added.
According to reports, the Pakistani embassy in Washington had been directed to approach the State Department and the Department of Transportation to seek permission for special flights from the US to bring back the stranded Pakistanis.
The CEO said the PIA had been one of the few airlines that had been serving the two countries for decades. However, for the last few years the PIA had stopped its routine operations for the US, although the Pakistani authorities had been in touch with their US counterparts to resume routine operations and were still maintaining staff in New York.