UK temporarily bans PIA's cargo service, forces airline to suspend EU deliveries

As per the EU protocol the assessment of the British officials will be accepted by all the members of European Union.


Saad Hasan July 28, 2014

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.

COMMENTS (31)

Dipak | 7 years ago | Reply

The average age of Air India's Boeing 777-300 series is around 5-6 years. AI sold the 777-200 series were sold to Ethiad airlines. All are in excellent shape. May be PIA airplanes are disallowed in Europe for some other reasons. Thanks for you research. Good Job.

Malik Tariq | 7 years ago | Reply

@Dipak: PIA's B777 are only 7 years old, which is as old as aircraft flown by Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, British AIr, Air France etc and definitely lesser in age than same type of aircrafts in use by Air India. This problem must be with issues of scanning cargo, or their loading etc or their contents not configuring to load manifest, but nothing to do with age of aircraft. As far as age of Cargo fleets of many American Airlines and even those registered by EU are concerned, their average fleet life is more than 18 years. What PIA and CAA needs is professional management and at helm, not political cronies that are presently running them. If CAA was staffed with competent and experienced officers doing supervisory assignments, who were not on deputation from the airlines under its jurisdiction, than the Regulatory Body can perform its regulatory functions properly and save this country such embarrassments. As for the terrorists attacks on Karachi Airport, they were confined to Gerrys, and not PIA Cargo, which is relatively more secure.

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