Pakistan International Airlines has been hit by a number of problems in recent years. The EU has had worries regarding the airline's safety record, such as in 2007 when the majority of it's fleet was banned from landing at EU airports following a number of crashes and failed safety checks.
This March the European Aviation Safety Agency suspended the airline's air security certificate following concerns with the state of safety checks at it's Pakistan base. At the moment this means that flights bound for the US must receive seperate safety checks at Manchester Airport, though flights to the EU have not yet been banned.
In Yorkshire, many passengers fly with PIA using Leeds Bradford Airport. The first priority of any airline should be the safety of its passengers. It would be a huge shame if passengers who use LBA lost the ability to travel to see friends and family in Pakistan.
PIA have undergone an overhaul of their procedures, as the Commission noted on April 4th. The Commission have stressed that they are willing to offer support to Pakistan, though there is uncertainty over whether the certifate will be granted, or whether we will see a repeat of the 2007 situation.
Last week along with several Liberal colleagues in the Parliament, I wrote to the European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, to ask what support is being offered for Pakistan to meet these safety requirements, and for some clarification of the future for PIA flights in the EU.