KARACHI: The national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has expedited preparations for direct flights to the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe, ARY News reported on Sunday.
Sources within the national airline told ARY News that PIA management expressed confidence in clearing the audit to be conducted by the British Department for Transport (DfT) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Sources added that the EASA audit team will visit Pakistan in November and the DfT’s team in October.
Earlier in the month, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) made appointments of staff in the United Kingdom (UK) despite facing a severe financial crisis.
The national flag carrier is facing a ban in direct flights to the United Kingdom (UK) for three years. Despite the financial crisis and the ban, the national airline appointed officers and staffers on high salaries.
It was learnt that the PIA country manager will receive a salary worth £70,000, whereas, the annual salary of the passenger sales manager was fixed at £55,000 and £55,000 for the finance manager.
Additionally, a manager was appointed at the Manchester station on an annual salary worth £55,000 with other perks.
The PIA spokesperson said that the national airline continued its flight operation on the basis of code sharing with Turkish Airlines in the UK and earning £14 million annually. The spokesperson said that only 1.8% of earnings is being spent on the PIA staffers in the UK.
The spokesperson added that Pakistan-UK direct flight operations will be resumed soon. It added that the airline’s country manager and sales managers were appointed citing the early restoration of direct flights to the UK.
After a three-year ban, the national carrier is expected to be allowed to resume direct flights to European countries after getting clearance from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).