ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will resume direct flights to the United States from May “subject to TSA (US’ Transportation Security Administration) clearance”, the national flag carrier’s spokesperson said on Wednesday.
The permission was granted after two years of negotiations between the US administration and the national airline, the spokesperson said. He added that initially, three flights a week will take off for New York, but the number will be increased with the passage of time.
According to the official, the transport security authority of the US had conducted an audit of the security arrangements of the PIA fleet and at the airports, as they reviewed the flights that took off from Karachi and Islamabad. US homeland security had also visited Pakistan in this regard, he said.
Owing to security concerns, the US did not allow any direct flight that originated at a Pakistani airport into its airspace. In October 2017, the PIA had discontinued its flights to the US because of rising operational costs and in a bid to cut losses it had been facing.