PIA is all set to resume direct flights to the US ahead of PM’s visit.
This will be the first time PIA will be taking direct flights to New York.
PIA had previously closed flights to New York via Manchester due to high cost.
National carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is all set to start direct flights to the United States following the awaited and hyped Prime Imran Khan’s visit. Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan at a press conference at the SQMS Auditorium, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) headquarters said that the US officials expressed their concerns regarding direct flights to the States, which has now been addressed.
“Flights are expected to begin after the upcoming prime minister’s visit to the US,” he added, during the press conference. The operations were previously halted due to the high operational cost and the national carrier being in shambles.
Why were the direct flights halted previously?
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.
“Operating the entire long flight with a stopover was not economically viable for the airline, therefore, we decided to close the route,” Mashhood Tajwar, PIA spokesperson, told.
According to the Boeing website, PIA has 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.
The aviation minister added that they have developed a new business plan for PIA and the prime minister has approved it. As per the plan, PIA’s fleet will increase from the current 31 to 45 aircraft.
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