UK Parliament Member Urges Resumption of Direct Flights to Pakistan
Naz Shah, a member of the UK Parliament, has urged the British government to reinstate direct flights to Pakistan. She submitted a letter to Mark Harper, the Secretary of State for Transport, urging the government to reinstate direct flights between the two nations. Shah emphasized that the cancellation of flights between the two nations has impacted around 270,000 Pakistanis who live in the UK. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has stopped operating direct flights between the two nations since July 2020, and other airlines have also been affected by this decision.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) banned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft operations to Europe in 2020 due to safety concerns. EASA revoked PIA’s Third Country Operator (TCO) Authorization, stating that the airline had not complied with the suggested corrective action plans (CAPs). PIA officials received information about six results in meetings between June and September 2019, and while they implemented five of the action plans, they failed to address one crucial component related to Safety Management Systems.
Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Naz Shah actively supported Pakistan before lawmakers and remained an active member of parliament. In 2021, Shah wrote a letter to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab questioning the inclusion of Pakistan on the “red list,” as Pakistan had substantially fewer Covid-19 cases compared to France, India, and Germany. Shah raised concerns about the scientific data guiding the decision, highlighting that Pakistan had only 13 infections per 100,000 people, while France, Germany, and India had 403, 137, and 24 infections per 100,000 people, respectively. Furthermore, Shah noted that Pakistan did not have any issues with the South African variant, in contrast to France.