US granted it special permission to PIA to operate chartered flights for one year.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
The United States transport authority has revoked the permission granted to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate a number of special direct flights to the US, a spokesperson for the airline said as the fallout from the revelation of Pakistani pilots' alleged dubious licences continues.
The authorisation was revoked "due to recent events identified by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority that are of serious concern to aviation safety, specifically matters pertaining to the proper certification of certain Pakistani pilots", according to an email sent to PIA officials by a US-based law firm.
PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan confirmed that the airline had been notified of the permission being withdrawn via email.
The US Department of Transportation had in April granted PIA permission to operate 12 direct flights to the US to repatriate people stranded by the coronavirus pandemic. The airline had until now operated six of the flights to different US cities. It was the first time that Pakistan's national flag carrier operated direct flights to the US.
"It is a setback for us," PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez said in a statement. "However we are keeping very close coordination with US Department of Transportation and we sincerely hope that with the reformative process already underway, they will review their decision to revoke the permissions."
Following disclosure by federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan in parliament that 150 PIA pilots had ‘dubious’ licences, the European and British aviation authorities had barred the airline from flying to their airports for at least six months.
The aviation regulators of several other countries, meanwhile, have sought verification of credentials of Pakistani pilots and engineers working there.
The development comes as the federal government in recent days has tried to assuage concerns about Pakistani pilots, stating that an inquiry into the issuance of ‘illegal’ licences to 236 pilots between 2012 and 2018 was in progress.
"It is not just a mission that brought back stranded and distressed citizens from around the world, but Vande Bharat has been a mission of hope and happiness, of letting people know that they will not be left behind even in the most testing times," Puri said.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered the release after both sides said they had reached an amicable settlement of the dispute, involving two planes leased to PIA, a lawyer for the airline said.
The first flight PK9702 will carry more than 250 passengers from Manchester to Islamabad and the next flight PK9785 will airlift passengers from Islamabad to London are scheduled for Aug.14 and 15 respectively, PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said.
Passenger operations have collapsed at an unprecedented rate as the virus spreads around the world, with Delta Air Lines Inc parking more than 600 jets, cutting corporate pay by as much as 50 per cent, and scaling back its flying by more than 70% until demand begins to recover.
The woman, who was pursuing her studies in Dubai, had returned to her native Bengaluru for her marriage.
The police spokesperson said Aneesa Abbas, 24, and Arooj Abbas, 21, were seeking separation from their husbands and were lured back from Spain to Gujrat where they were strangled and shot on Friday night.
The General Directorate of Saudi Passports said, according to local media, that the 16 countries to which Saudi citizens have been banned are: Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Armenia, Russia Belarus, and Venezuela.