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Imran Khan's Pakistan Bears Brunt Of PIA Ban In UK As Flight Fares Surge Triples: Reports

Within ten days after the ban on PIA flights by Civil Aviation Authority of UK, ticket prices to Pakistan from the United Kingdom have tripled, as per reports

Pakistan

Within ten days after the ban on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights by the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom, ticket prices for flights to Pakistan from the United Kingdom have tripled, as per international reports. 

United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority on July 1 banned PIA from operating flights in and out of the country. The decision by UK came soon after the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced a similar ban. PIA operates six routes to the United Kingdom: one to Birmingham Airport (BHX), three to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and two to Manchester Airport (MAN), all of which are now banned.

Ticket prices surge by 300%

According to the rates at Opodo, a UK-based travel agency website, the cheapest return ticket from London to Lahore is being offered by Emirates and British Airways at a £ 3,410  — equal to almost Rs 641,097.  The return tickets from the Islamabad to Lahore offered by Emirates on travel website kayak.co cost over £ 1156 — equal to almost Rs 242881. As per reports, return flights from London to Lahore, Islamabad used to cost an average of £500-650, but it has increased three times due to the ban on PIA flights. 

READ | US bans Pakistan International Airlines flights after reports of 'dubious licenses'

US banned PIA flights

The United States has revoked the permission for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate charter flights to the US over alleged dubious licenses of pilots. The US Department of Transportation reportedly cited the concerns raised by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over Pakistani pilot certifications.

European Union banned PIA flights

The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate in Europe for six months following fake license issue. The move was taken after Pakistan itself announced that 262 pilots have “dubious” licenses. “EASA has temporarily suspended PIA's authorisation to operate to the EU member states for a period of 6 months effective July 1, 2020, with the right to appeal against this decision,” a PIA statement said.

READ | PIA to beg EU to suspend ban on its flights after Pakistan pilots emerge frauds en masse

262 pilots grounded

On June 26, Pakistan's Civil Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said 262 pilots in the country 'did not take the exam themselves' and had paid someone else to sit it on their behalf. He informed that the pilots have zero flying experience and that PIA has grounded all its pilots who hold fake licenses with immediate effect.

Taking cognisance of the matter, CEO, PIA, Air Marshall Arshad Malik, had written a letter to the Secretary of Aviation to immediately ground 141 names which were listed, while remaining names produced by the government were allegedly not a part of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) anymore or has fabricated details.

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