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What is the current status of PIA flights to the UK?

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif recently engaged with UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott to address the suspension of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight operations to the UK. During the meeting at the PM Office, Shehbaz Sharif advocated for the swift resumption of PIA flights to the UK, aiming to reinforce ties between the two nations and alleviate concerns within the 1.6 million-strong Pakistani diaspora residing in the UK.

The grounding of PIA flights to Europe and the UK stemmed from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s revocation of PIA’s authorization in 2020 due to a fake pilot license scandal, leading to the suspension of operations. With inspections now completed, there is optimism that PIA flights to the UK may resume in May, as indicated by CAA Additional Director General Taimur Iqbal during a recent session.

In addition to addressing flight resumption, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasized the significance of advancing Pakistan-UK relations by expediting the conclusion of the Enhanced Strategic Partnership (ESP) agreement. He underscored the government’s commitment to navigating economic challenges and stressed the need for enhanced cooperation in trade, investment, climate initiatives, and people-to-people exchanges. The PM also highlighted the importance of aligning on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Furthermore, Shehbaz Sharif extended his best wishes to King Charles III for a speedy recovery and expressed hopes for a potential visit by the King to Pakistan once he is able to travel. This gesture reflects Pakistan’s interest in fostering strong diplomatic ties with the UK and enhancing bilateral engagements across various sectors.

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