KARACHI: British authorities on Monday imposed a temporary ban on cargo service of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), forcing the national carrier to suspend delivery of goods to the entire European Union, officials said.
The ban was unexpected after the British Transportation Department had 'validated' the airline's operations just last month, a PIA spokesperson said.
"We are contesting their decision. Our officials met British counterparts in London today to try and figure out what has happened," PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar said.
After last months validation, another team of English experts was supposed to visit Pakistan to give the final nod of approval to the airline. Instead, a decision to stop the airline's cargo service was taken.
As per EU protocols, the assessment of the British officials will be accepted by all the members of European Union.
The temporary ban follows a deadly attack on Karachi airport and another aircraft coming under attack while landing at Peshawar airport. But PIA officials claim that it was strange that no such restriction has been imposed on other private airlines operating out of Pakistan.
A delegation of PIA officials led by Director Flight Operations Salman Azhar are now expected to take up the issue with officials in England on July 31.
PIA does not have any dedicated plane for cargo. But it uses Boeing-777 and Airbus-310 aircrafts to haul cargo overseas.
The airlines' has a cargo business to EU of around Rs2 billion.