To address the rising concern of the global aviation industry, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has signed a three-year agreement with the United Kingdom to outsource its licensing examinations. Under the agreement, the United Kingdom would hold the license examination for Private Pilot License (PPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL) for the next three years.
Pakistan felt the need to undertake such a decision to rebuild the confidence of the global aviation industry in Pakistani pilots. Countries across the world raised concerns over the eligibility of the Pakistani pilots when last year, the Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan told the National Assembly that over 40 percent of the licenses possessed by Pakistani pilots were dubious.
Following the statement by the aviation minister, a lot of countries and international aviation bodies imposed restrictions on the country over safety concerns. European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) suspended Pakistan International Airline’s license to operate in countries under the European Union. Similar proceedings were followed by the United States and the United Kingdom.
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With the license examination outsourced, the country seeks to rebuild the trust which it lost after the recent episode. The examination would be held under the United Kingdon Civil Aviation Authority, and the candidates would have to pay the fees in pound sterling. The Examination fee for the first year would be 90 GBP, for the second year, it would be 95 GBP, and the Pakistan CAA would provide fee waivers for the first two years, but for the last year exam, the candidate would have to pay the fees in full.
In another bid, Pakistan CAA has also signed an interlining agreement with flydubai, which would provide extended network reach, allowing Pakistanis to travel to 90 different destinations via Dubai.
Interlining, also known as interline ticketing and interline booking is an agreement to handle passengers traveling on itineraries that require multiple flights on multiple airlines. Essentially it provides ease of traveling to the people as it allows to book through itineraries rather than booking each flight separately, it also includes baggage handling, and the passenger only has to check in once for all flights in the itinerary.
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Talking about interlining Air Marshal Arshad Malik in a tweet stated “good news for Pakistan Aviation: PIA and flydubai get into interline agreemnent providing extended network reach allowing pax to travel from Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, connecting to over 90 desitinations in Europe, Africa, Central Asia, South Asia and South East Asia via Dubai.”
good news for Pak Aaviation: #PIA & @flydubai get into #interline agreement providing extended network reach allowing pax to travel from Lahore, Islamabad & Peshawar, connecting to over 90 destinations in Europe, Africa, Central Asia, South Asia and South East Asia via Dubai. pic.twitter.com/NkkmT7S63e
— Air Marshal Arshad Malik (Retd) (@amarshadmalik) December 1, 2021
The move is likely to boost the Pakistani Aviation Industry. Pakistan International Airline, better known as PIA, was the rising sun in its early days. Unfortunately, it was also quick to see its decline and lose credibility. It came to its lowest when debates about privatizing the national asset were circulating the power corridors. Now the Pakistan CAA is making bids to regain that former glory, and coming out of the Corona pandemic, it hopes to make major strides in that effort. With major airlines resuming operations in Pakistan, the country is seeing a positive outcome of its policies, but much remains to be seen.