EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights

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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

Post by NL »

Amaad Lone wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:57 pmMaybe a loop hole could have been wet leasing planes for Europe and UK

Currently using Maltese planes for charter flights, what if PIA was to wet lease those planes and get permission from EASA to fly these planes with Pk flight numbers and use them in regular flights.
That's not a loop hole, the option to continue operating flights using aircraft and crews not subject to restrictions in the eu has always been available to any airline that got banned. It's actually pakistani regulations that limit use of foreign aircraft and crew by airlines based in pakistan. That is also why pia will continue to pretend those hifly ops are 'charters'; as soon as they officially make it a wet lease the clock starts ticking.
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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It's actually pakistani regulations that limit use of foreign aircraft and crew by airlines based in pakistan. That is also why pia will continue to pretend those hifly ops are 'charters'; as soon as they officially make it a wet lease the clock starts ticking.
Ok. I do remember now that there is a time limit to how long a wet lease aircraft can operate in Pakistan. But why not change that rule, its not like amending the constitution.

Change the duration from a few months to 1 year so PIA can get wet lease aircraft and operate regular flights to UK and Europe.

Returning three 777s and wet leasing three A330s might be the way to go.

With air traveling resuming in early 2021 PIA has to be prepared to fly back to at least the three UK cities.
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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According to European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) spokesperson statement quoted in Pakistan newspapers, the agency's decision to suspend PIA flights to/from Europe was taken after Pakistan Aviation Minister's statement on dubious/suspicious Pakistani pilot licenses.

Pakistan needs to continue taking more satisfactory steps on personnel licensing and safety, said agency spokesperson.

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Urdu daily "Awaz" (December 10, 2020, edition)

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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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Request for permission to operate flights in European countries declined; ban extended for three months

EU ban won't be lifted before CAA audit, PIA told

KARACHI: A day after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan expressed hopes that the ban imposed on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate flights in Europe would be lifted soon, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) informed the national flag carrier that the ban had been extended by three months and that it would not be reviewed until a safety audit of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), it emerged on Saturday.

Only on Friday, the aviation minister had told reporters in Taxila that most concerns of EASA regarding the process of issuing licences to commercial pilots had been addressed and soon the ban imposed on PIA flights in European countries would be lifted.

However, a senior PIA official confirmed to Dawn that PIA had received a disappointing message in response to a request made by the airline.

He said that the national carrier had asked the European agency to give its provisional permission to operate flights to and from European destinations since it had met several conditions.

We have asked EASA that they can conduct a safety audit of PIA, free from CAA, and in the meantime grant us provisional permission,” he said, adding that in response the agency said it could not issue such a permission.

The EASA letter says: “Reg­arding the lack of confidence in certification and oversight activities performed by the Pakistani CAA, which was the second aspect that led to the suspension of Third Country Operator Authorisation, the investigation performed by the European Commission and by the ICAO have not yet been concluded.

“Consequently, as all preconditions to lift the suspension are not met and, as an audit will be necessary, the agency decided not to revoke your Third Country Operator Authorisation but to extend the suspension period by additional three months....”

The official explained that the ban was not on PIA per se but on the state of Pakistan and it would not be lifted until the regulator brought reforms to the satisfaction of EASA.

Sources said that PIA was in constant touch with the European agency and had provided it necessary documents as evidence regarding the implementation of the agreed corrective action plan. EASA had told PIA that it found the documents satisfactory but linked the lifting of the ban with meeting certain conditions that primarily related to the CAA because of the ‘fake’ pilots’ licence issue.

EASA told PIA it was investigating the issue of ‘fake’ pilots’ licences and it would review the ban after an audit but added that its officials could not visit Pakistan because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taking advantage of ban

The EASA ban is not only causing a huge financial loss to PIA, it is also giving an opportunity to foreign airlines to expand their operations.

Earlier this month, British airline Virgin Atlantic launched its direct flight operations for Islamabad and Lahore while British Airways had already expanded its operations from Islamabad to Lahore.

EASA had in July suspended the authorisation for PIA to operate flights in the EU member states for six months due to safety concerns after the aviation minister, while making public the preliminary report of the May 22 air crash, told parliament that 262 Pakistani pilots possessed dubious licences.

The curbs were extended later as EASA was not fully satisfied by the measures taken to improve the process of issuing the licences as well as other safety matters.

The European agency had given PIA the right to appeal against its decision in two months but its Air Marshal Arshad Malik-led management decided not to lodge the appeal because of the visit of a team of International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) to assess the operational management and control systems of the airline.

The IOSA team visited the country in September and its focus was on PIA’s flight operations and its passenger service, engineering, etc.

Souce: Dawn
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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It means PIA flights to/from UK to remain suspended till March 31, 2021.

Initially the flights were suspended for six months from July 1 to December 31, 2020.

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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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December 21 PIA letter to EASA

PIA in its December 21 letter to EASA provided following information and sought provisional/conditional authorization to operate flights to & from Europe:

* As for the Professional License issue, out of 141 names published, credentials of 94 pilots have been re-validated and cleared by a special committee formulated by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Further, licenses of 09 pilots have been cancelled by the Federal Govt. More so, 16 pilots were found as never in service at PIA - an error in the list - with another 02 found as deceased. Amongst the remaining ones, 18 pilots were suspended for failing to clear the validation process and are currently under legal verification procedure, with another 02 still under investigation. As an operator, we are already following a risk based policy containing measures to mitigate risk and ensure compliance of strict controls in case of any suspicion on pilot license. At this stage, PIA is ready to take any step necessary to restore our EU operations, even if it require independent re-validation of licenses of our Boeing 777 pilots form EASA's acceptable body and maintain their currency alongside route qualification. Likewise, revision to restrict the operations to limited pilots, who were never in the list, would also be adopted for the sake of restoring confidence till the time the license matter is fully addressed by Pakistan CAA and EC's evaluations are finalized favorably.

* At strategic level reforms, a new Secretary Aviation has been appointed by the Government of Pakistan in an endeavor to espouse Aviation Safety at state level. Likewise, with the appointment of new DG CAA has taken key steps and have acquired consultancy of aviation experts to help prepare them to strengthen their professional licensing systems.

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* With regards to the initiatives taken as remedial action in relation to PK8303 crash, PIA Safety Performance Analysis now shows significant improvements especially in high risk areas such as destabilized approaches and descent profiles. As of now, FDM Reports are being reviewed by CEO PIA on fortnightly basis are based on 100 percent analyzed data.

* Aforesaid in view, it is prudent to submit that both EU and EASA may kindly review PIA case again as safety at PIA has visibly improved, which has been duly verified in their independent assessments in recent renewal IOSA Audit by IATA and PIA consultant Boeing.

* We therefore, request you to kindly grant us provisional/conditional Part-TCO Authorization so that our operations can be resumed in the best interest of our passengers, who would like to travel through PIA on direct routes to Pakistan on this New Year eve and onwards. While we do appreciate EASA and EU's resolve towards ensuring Safety Operations, we, however, would like to present our case for a review even independent of Pakistan CAA.

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December 24 EASA reply to PIA

EASA in its December 24 letter to PIA informed agency's decision to extend suspension of Pakistani airline's flights to & from Europe for three months.

EASA experts have reviewed all submitted material and additional supporting arguments related to the corrective actions implemented to improve PIA Safety Management System.

Regarding the lack of confidence in certification and oversight activities performed by the Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which was the second aspect that led to the suspension of your Third Country Operator Authorization, the investigations performed by the European Commission and by the ICAO have not yet been concluded.

Consequently, as all pre-conditions to lift the suspension are not met and, as an audit will be necessary, the EASA decided not to revoke PIA Third Country Operator Authorization but to extend the suspension period by an additional 3-month period.

Finally, please note that EASA legal framework does not provide the possibility to grant provisional or conditional TCO authorizations.

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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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Cartoon in December 30 edition of English daily "The Express Tribune" on the suspension of PIA flights to & from Europe due to EASA decision.

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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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Are there any updates on how the investigations by the EC and ICAO are progressing?
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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The 3 month extension of this ban is due to expire this month yet it seems very quiet as to what may or may not happen. Is no news good news?
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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^ Foreign aviation bodies remain unsatisfied with Pakistan CAA examinations/licensing system.

ICAO team due to arrive in Pakistan on July 5 to conduct Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) of Pakistan CAA.

PIA intends to continue using chartered aircraft for UK and France flights till September 30, 2021.

Advertisement in February 12, 2021, newspaper:

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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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PIA has to wait till July 2021 to resume its Europe/UK and USA flight operations as Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is yet to meet safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Talking to Business Recorder, a PIA spokesman informed that ICAO and EASA teams would visit Pakistan to undertake Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) to determine whether Pakistan CAA has met mandatory safety requirements related to pilot licenses and aircraft or not.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2021/03/16 ... -news.html
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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EU aviation watchdog satisfied with CAA's safety standards
https://tribune.com.pk/story/2289964/eu ... -standards

ISLAMABAD:
The European Union's aviation safety watchdog on Wednesday termed safety standards of Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as "satisfactory".

The decision was made following a two-day meeting of the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and CAA officials, in which representatives from Denmark, Italy and Sweden participated via video link.

During the meeting, Deputy Director-General for Regulatory Affairs Nadir Shafi Dar briefed the participants on the steps taken by the country’s aviation authority.

He responded to queries of the EASA officials after which they expressed their satisfaction with regards to improvement in safety measures.

The aviation officials maintained that the procedure for new licences for pilots was made completely transparent and after the installation of the British system, the captains will also be required to undergo rigorous examinations as per the international standards.

CAA's Air Accident Investigation Board also briefed the watchdog regarding the investigation into the plane crashes.

In the first week of July, EASA had suspended the authorisation for the PIA to operate in the bloc for six months. The EASA move was in response to the grounding of 262 pilots whose licenses were termed “dubious” by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar.

“EASA has temporarily suspended PIA’s authorisation to operate to the EU member states for a period of six months effective July 1, 2020, with the right to appeal against this decision,” a PIA statement had read.

It all started after the aviation minister had told the National Assembly that there were a total of 860 pilots in Pakistan and out of those, 262 did not sit for exams as someone else did that for them. 40% licenses are “fake” or the pilots don’t have the required flying experience, the minister had said, adding that people were inducted on the basis of fake degrees, appointed on political basis and merit was ignored.

Also read: PIA decides not to appeal EU flight ban, 'will review turnaround strategy'

The inquiry report was submitted in connection with the PIA flight PK8303, which crashed in a residential area in Karachi on May 22. It had taken off from Lahore and came down about a kilometre (0.6 mile) short of the runway on its second attempt to land, killing all but two of the 99 aboard.

On July 7, the federal cabinet dismissed 28 pilots from service whose licenses were found suspected and against whom disciplinary proceedings were completed while allowing the national carrier’s CEO to complete his three-year term even after he retires from Pakistan Air Force on July 12.

The cabinet had given approval of hiring Malik as PIA CEO on April 26, 2018, on deputation as he was serving in the PAF. On Tuesday, the cabinet while approving the aviation division’s suggestion decided that Malik will complete his three years on a contractual basis.
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

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So what does this mean for PIA?
Will they be allowed to start flights to the Europe imminently?
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

Post by bukhari917 »

adamalikhan wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:33 pm So what does this mean for PIA?
Will they be allowed to start flights to the Europe imminently?
I won't jump to this conclusion yet. Not sure how many conditions were met and how many they still need to. FATF is an example where everytime our minister tell the people that they have done a lot of work and FATF is satisfied and they expect to be out of gray list soon however we hear a different story every time.
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Re: EASA Suspends PIA Europe Flights for Six Months

Post by Blackbird »

I was booked on PK-701 ISB to MAN on Saturday 10th April. This morning I got a phone call from PIA to say that they have moved my booking to a day earlier . 9th April at 4am in the morning and it will be the chartered aircraft. This means that PIA flights are unlikely to be restored in early April.
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