KARACHI: The United States (US) has assured Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) of facilitating in carrying direct flights to the three major cities, including New York, Chicago, and Houston, according to a handout on Wednesday.
The announcement came during a visit of US Consulate General Joanne Wagner to PIA head office. She was accompanied by senior officials of diplomatic corps of US Consulate.
“[PIA CEO] Arshad Malik requested US diplomatic team for facilitating PIA for having direct flights to US cities including New York, Chicago and Houston etc,” the statement reads.
Malik said while flying to the US via any en-route transit makes the flight economics unviable.
“Wagner assured the PIA to help in facilitating by contacting the relevant US departments in resolving PIA issues, including having direct access to US mainland,” it added.
“We are optimistic about relations to grow in future between both countries,” said US Consulate General.
She said that the US is very keen to improve and strengthen the ties between both countries, especially the business and trade relations. She also said that significant potential exists between both countries to grow.
Wagner expressed deep interest in the performance of PIA and asked questions about the airline’s future plans. “While appreciating about PIA’s performance under the new management she assured of the follow up in facilitation to PIA,” the statement said.
Malik also briefed the visiting delegation about PIA’s plan to expand its fleet by the acquisition of new aircraft.
He said that the security situation in the country has improved tremendously and added that aviation and security agencies of European countries and Canada have shown their confidence over the recent developments.
The CEO said that the security concerns have been tackled at all levels with the opening of New Islamabad International Airport. “Resumption of British Airways and other western carriers is proof of it”.
To a query, Malik said that in the forthcoming National Aviation Policy, he expects level playing field for all stakeholders.
He informed the US delegation about getting certification and approvals from IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) and other agencies.
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