The UK’s airline regulator has approved a request from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to recommence flights between Islamabad and the UK.

The airline’s Foreign Carrier Permit has been amended by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to allow operations, including to Birmingham and Manchester airports.

Its permission to operate flights to and from the UK was stripped in June by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), initially for a six-month spell, because of concerns about some of its pilots’ licences.

In a statement today, the CAA said: “On 30 June 2020, the UK Civil Aviation Authority suspended permission for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate services to the United Kingdom. This suspension was legally required following the decision of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to withdraw the airline’s Third Country Operator safety certificate.

“However, the Civil Aviation Authority has now approved a request from the company to be allowed to recommence services between Islamabad to Birmingham and Manchester using aircraft chartered from the EU carrier Hi Fly Limited. PIA’s Foreign Carrier Permit has been amended accordingly. This approval came into effect from 14 August 2020.

“EASA’s prohibition on PIA operating flights into the European Common Aviation Area with its own aircraft is unaffected by this amendment.”