The Canadian Transport Authority after conducting an audit of PIA in August 2020 has declared that Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) operational services meet international standards and is optimistic that PIA will maintain displayed efficiency of flight operations in the future as well.

The Transport Canada Safety Validation and Airworthiness Desk of the Canadian Transport Authority released the audit report on PIA’s safety. It conducted the audit after the European Union’s ban on PIA due to safety concerns. It had further directed the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) to get its safety audit done by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). PIA has reportedly suffered a revenue loss of around Rs17 billion during the one-year period since its flights were banned in Europe.

In a letter to PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik, Transport Canada said: “Transport Canada accepts that PIA has implemented the corrective actions to address the findings generated by the Transport Canada Foreign Operations Division Airworthiness Audit Specific ICAO Air worthiness Elements on August 26, 2020. Accordingly, all of the airworthiness findings are closed. We also recognize that other long-term systematic changes have been implemented both in flight and airworthiness operations over the past years to enhance safety in PIA.”

In July 2020, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had suspended the third country operator authorization of Pakistan International Airline to operate flights in the EU member states for six months due to safety concerns against the backdrop of the May 22, 2020 Karachi plane crash and the subsequent scandal of pilots possessing dubious licenses. Third-country authorization was also suspended for Pakistani Boeing 737 operator Vision Air. In April this year, EASA extended travel restrictions imposed on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for an indefinite period.

The European Commission believes that Pakistani authorities are “engaged in a significant effort” to take corrective actions necessary to address safety concerns; PIA’s third-country approval remains suspended. European regulators plan to conduct an on-site assessment visit to Pakistan soon.

Transport Canada’s audit is welcome news for PIA and will have a positive effect on the carrier’s bid to reinstate itself in the EU region.

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