Expats face difficulties due to PIA flight suspension

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By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani passengers have faced extreme difficulties in European states for travelling back to home following a ban on flight operation of the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
A large number of nationals, who are residing in different European countries, have contacted Pakistani embassies regarding their problems due to the suspension of flight operation. The efforts of the Pakistani embassy in Spain’s Barcelona bear fruit as the authorities granted permission for a special flight to transport stranded Pakistanis.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials, a special flight will be operated between Barcelona and Islamabad on July 20. A special flight of Qatar Airways will land in Barcelona on July 19 to transport stranded nationals to home.
Earlier on June 30, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had announced to suspend Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight operations over safety concerns.
The suspension came into force from July 1 and will remain in place for six months.
All PIA flights to Europe had been suspended after the order as the national flag carrier asked passengers to either refund their tickets or extend them for a later date.
The EASA in a letter conveyed to the national flag carrier, said that they had suspended the Third Country Operator (TCO) Authorisation to PIA after it failed to comply with the proposed corrective action plans (CAPs).