A communique issued by the US Department of Transportation allows Pakistan International Airlines to operate 12 flights a month. Permission will expire on April 29, 2021, Dawn News reported.
“This is the first time a Pakistani national airline will operate direct flights to the US,” the airline’s spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said late Thursday.
The spokesman also said that the airline did not have planes and capacity to fly directly to the US before the 9/11 terror attacks when after the twin towers attacked, US authorities have banned direct flights from Pakistan because of security until now.
The terror attack killed 2,977 people, including 40 Indians, when al-Qaeda terrorists crashed hijacked planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
The PIA is bound to notify the transportation department, in writing, of the route taken for each passenger or cargo chartered flight not less than five working days after operation.
For each passenger flight, which goes to the US from destinations outside Pakistan, the PIA must notify, in writing, the transportation department about the route required three working days before the operation.
Because of security concerns, the US does not permit any direct flights originating from Pakistani airports to its airspace. In October 2017, the PIA stopped its flights to the US due to increased operational costs and in an effort to cut the losses it had faced.
However, PIA officials have been trying to get permission from the US and negotiations have been going on for the past two years. In March this year, a US Transportation Security Administration The team visited Pakistan to conduct a final security check.
PIAs that lack money have huge financial losses. Over the years, airlines with 18,000 plus employees and a fleet of 32 aircraft only added to billions of losses.
The PIA faces a huge loss of Rs 180 million (US $ 1.1 million), according to Pakistani media reports.
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