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PIA to commence direct flights to US from 2020: sources

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will start direct flights to United States (US) from April 2020 as the preparations have been entered into its final phase, ARY News reported on Sunday.

Sources told ARY News that the national flag-carrier will initiate direct flights between Pakistan-US from the month of April next year and the PIA administration sought permission from the American officials for it besides providing related documents and plans.

Sources added that PIA will utilise its long-range Boeing 777 aircraft for the flight operation to the US. It is pertinent to mention here that a team of homeland security of US had visited Pakistan to overview of the arrangements for direct flights at Islamabad and Karachi airports.

Moreover, US transport security authority had also concluded its audit of PIA planes and security measures on the airports. The officials of the security agency had expressed their satisfaction over the security arrangements.

Read: PIA finalises new routes, additional flights under its strategic business plan

The administration of the national flag-carrier is seeking formal permission from the US authorities to commence direct flights from Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, sources said. The development came forth after the successful visit of PIA chief executive officer to the US where he had met high-level officials from aviation, airport authority, TSA and others.

In March, American authorities had green- lightened Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for the direct flight operations to the United States (US).

The development follows, after a meeting of the Consul General of the United States of America JoAnne Wagner with the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) CEO Arshad Malik, at the PIA headquarters.

He also informed the visiting delegation about purchasing of new jets. Sources privy to the development said the PIA has started its preparations for the direct flight operations to the US.

Read: PIA resumes flight operation for Malaysia

The national flag carrier had shut its direct flight operations to the US owing to financial losses of the organisation. JoAnne Wagner had assured to contact the relevant authorities for direct flights to certain US cities from Pakistan.

The administration of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had started the implementation of its business plan in October focusing the strategy to make the national entity into a profitable organisation.

The national flag-carrier has increased its routes up to 13 and the number of flights to many countries to generate additional revenue, sources said.

It is noteworthy to mention here that the national flag-carrier increased the number of flights to Jeddah to 42 in a week after the announcement of operating seven additional flights, sources added. The national flag-carrier will also induct two Airbus 320 planes into its fleet this month.

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