PIA allowed to conduct direct flights to the US for the first time after 9/11 attacks
Previously, the US did not allow direct flights due to security reasons after the 9/11 attacks.
In a first, The United States Department of Transportation has granted permission to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to conduct direct flights to the US. PIA’s spokesman Abdullah Hafeez confirmed the news on Thursday.
This is the first time that the national carrier would be able to carry direct flights to the US. Previously, the US did not allow direct flights due to security reasons after the 9/11 attacks. The planes had to take an alternate route, hence the operations were halted altogether in 2017.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) closed flights to New York via Manchester back in October 2017. The reason was that the long route was not economical.
According to the Boeing website, PIA had to acquire the world’s longest-range commercial airliner Boeing 777-200LR back in early 2006. In February, the craft flew to England, where it picked passengers from Manchester.
However, PIA could not start direct operations to the US due to Washington’s security concerns. So, when the flight was being operated through transit destinations, the hefty airport charges and ground-handling charges made it difficult to continue.
Direct flights allowed
According to a letter by the US Department of Transportation, dated April 29, PIA will be allowed to operate twelve round-trip or one-way passenger or cargo flights. The permission has been granted for one year and will expire on the 29th of April, 2021.
PIA will be bound to inform the transportation department, in writing, of the route it took for any passenger or cargo chartered flights no less than five business days after the operation.
Following aircraft that will be allowed to enter the US:
- Boeing’s model B777-240LR, serial number 33781 (registration number AP-BGY)
- Boeing model B777-240LR, serial number 33782 (registration number AP-BGZ).
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