Financial setback for PIA amidst European aviation inspection


PIA stranded aircraft

ISLAMABAD: In an unexpected development, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has frozen the accounts of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Wednesday.

According to Dawn.com, this comes at a critical time as a delegation from the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is currently in Pakistan for an assessment of flight safety issues.

Additionally, the Pakistan State Oil has issued a warning, threatening to halt oil supply to the airline if outstanding dues are not settled by Thursday.

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Expressing disappointment, a PIA spokesperson conveyed that the decision to freeze accounts is unfortunate, particularly with the EASA delegation in the country focusing on flight safety matters.

Despite the financial setback, the airline management remains in communication with the FBR, which has frozen a total of 28 PIA accounts. The spokesperson expressed optimism that the issue will be resolved promptly.

It’s noteworthy that in 2020, EASA had prohibited PIA from operating flights to Europe following a plane crash in Karachi on May 22, 2020.

The restrictions were imposed in response to statements by former aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, revealing concerns about questionable qualifications of 40 per cent of Pakistani pilots.

The ongoing visit of the four-member EASA delegation involves a comprehensive inspection of PIA’s operations, apron, engineering area, and flight safety tools in Karachi.

The team had previously scrutinised measures taken by the Civil Aviation Authority regarding pilot licenses and airworthiness on the preceding day.

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