Islamabad, Sep 1 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided not to lodge an appeal against the European Union Aviation Safety Agencys (EASA) suspension of the flag carrier's flights to and from the EU member states as the two-month deadline for filing the appeal expired on August 30.
The decision was taken ahead of a scheduled visit to Pakistan of the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) team on September 7 to assess the operational management and control systems of the PIA, Dawn news reported on Tuesday.
According to sources, the IATA-designated safety audit team is expected to be in Islamabad for five days.
On June 30, the EASA had written a letter to the PIA, informing the latter that apart from the pending issue of implementing safety management tools in the airline's flight operation within the stipulated time, it had suspended authorisation of PIA flights to and from the EU member countries for six months effective from July 1.
However, the EASA said an appeal against the suspension of authorisation could be filed in writing within two months.
The Operational Safety Audit is carried out after every two years. The last such audit was carried out in 2018, said the Dawn news report.
The audit programme was designed by the IATA in 2003 to assess the operational management and control systems of airlines.
The IATA had expressed concern over the "serious lapse in the licensing and safety oversight by the aviation regulator".
Besides the IATA, the EASA had also expressed concern after the PIA flight PK-8303 crash in Karachi on May 22, followed by Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan's June 24 disclosure that licences of 262 of the 850 pilots "suspicious".
Regarding the EASA issue, PIA spokesman Abdulah Hafeez Khan told Dawn news: "We are in continuous talks with the UK and EU authorities to get this suspension lifted and have engaged one of the biggest aviation firms to assist PIA in this regard."
( With inputs from IANS )
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