You may soon see Pakistan International Airlines planes again in Europe and the United States even as the airline remains banned. How? PIA has a plan to carefully avoid the current blacklist that prohibits it from flying to the European Union and USA.
The PIA Plan To Avoid Blacklist: Lease + Charter Flights
Per Gulf News, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is now in negotiations with an unnamed “private airline” to operate chartered flights on its behalf to Europe and the United States. Once the agreement is finalized, this airline would use PIA aircraft to operate chartered flights on behalf of PIA. Get it?
I’ll admit, I am a bit curious about this whole process. I thought the ban meant the entirety of PIA, not just PIA pilots or flights. Instead, it looks like PIA will essentially lease its plane out to another operator to operate flights on its behalf.
Since the pandemic started, Pakistan has repatriated over 250,000 citizens from around the world. That work, continues, however, and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised to continue this effort by whatever means possible.
Despite massive disruptions in global air travel, we have fulfilled our promise of bringing back stranded Pakistanis & our overseas workers.250,000 Pakistanis from around the world have been brought home. My govt will continue to support overseas Pakistanis in every way possible.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 18, 2020
Khan also added, “Any Pakistani living in any part of the world is our responsibility and the government would strive to fulfill it.”
The primary source is vague and I’ve reached out to PIA for clarification, but it seems that PIA is trying to find a loophole to continue operate flights. Paying foreign pilots and flight attendants will probably end up costing more, but this could be a way for PIA to return to Europe and the USA. Well, the planes at least.
image: Aero Icaraus / Wikimedia Commons