ISLAMABAD : Chairman Pakistan International Airline (PIA) Air Marshal Arshad Malik has said that there is no pressure with regard to PIA and all of European Union’s apprehensions will be put to rest after complete arrangements. Air Marshal Arshad Malik expressed these views on the issue of fake pilot licenses while also issuing letters to corporate CEOs across the country. He said that the national airline had flights in 21 countries before the ban and operated special flights all over the world, including the United States, Australia, Africa and South Korea. For the first time in history, direct flights were also operated from Pakistan to the United States. The Chairman said that after taking over the command of the airline, PIA has been run on a purely commercial basis and did not come under any pressure. Our goals were the promotion of merit, establishment of discipline, responsibility and accountability. Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that even in 2007 the European Union had banned Pakistan’s flights. In fact, PIA is on its history’s best position in the safety index owing to gradual improvement over the years. He said that investigation into fake licenses and degrees had been going on since 2018 after identification by PIA. Pilots and crew with suspicious credentials were suspended after the investigation but the issue could have been handled better, he added. The head of the national airline said that unfortunately the process went against its intended direction and now, PIA has to defend itself to the world. He said that another department was responsible for the matter. Arshad Malik said that he is giving suggestions to the government for reforms in civil aviation. It is hoped that after foolproof arrangements, EU’s concerns will be addressed. It is essential for the lasting restoration of PIA’s damaged reputation.
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