Rawalpindi             -       Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that PIA will file appeal against suspension of its flight operations for six months by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Talking to media persons, he said, “The appeal will be filed within two months. We will solve the safety issues raised by EASA and we had two months to appeal against the restrictions. PIA airplanes would fly in the European countries soon.”

The minister said the government was arranging charter planes for overseas Pakistanis in European countries. “Despite restrictions, PIA flights are being operated for Canada,” he said.     

In reply to a query about dubious credentials of pilots, he said a total of 219 pilots had been grounded and 191 suspended so far by issuing show cause notices while 28 had been sacked.   

Ghulam Sarwar said these pilots were not recruited by the PTI government and it did not conduct test for licence issuance during the period.   

He said the PTI government was making efforts to clean the mess created by the previous governments. He vowed that the PTI government would restore the glory of national flag carrier and turn it the best airline of the world soon while making changes.   

He said after the coronavirus, the domestic air operations had been fully restored and many concessions had been announced for the passengers with increase in luggage limit from 50kg to 73kg per person.   

The minister said that for Independence Day, PIA had announced 14 percent discount for all travellers. He said facilities on the airports were also being improved.    

Talking about the ill-fated A320 aircraft that crashed in Karachi, Ghulam Sarwar said that every passenger was insured for Rs.5 million while Rs. one million had already been paid to heirs of each passenger. He said the insurance amount would be increased in the coming days.   

The minister said that the federal government allocated Rs.560 billion for the social development projects.    

Terming Ring Road Project as biggest development project of Rawalpindi, he said Rs 6 billion had been allocated for the land acquisition of the project. He said the project would be initiated within current financial year. He said that land acquisition would start after Muharram while the project would be completed with a cost of Rs.55 billion.   

He said that 64km long road would start from Radio Pakistan, Rawat at GT Road and terminate at Sangjani (N-5) via New Islamabad Airport where it would connect Margallah Road of Islamabad.   

He said that Rs.500 million would be spent on 60 beds hospital to be built at 96 kanals of land in Jorian at Chakri.   

The minister termed Prime Minister Ehsaas Kafalat Programme as largest relief package in the national history and said over Rs.160 billion had been distributed among 13 million families to provide them financial assistance during Covid-19 pandemic.   

He said due to effective policies of the government, the situation of the coronavirus pandemic in the country was under control. He said all businesses would be open from August 10 and all things would be normal soon.   

The minister said he did not see any political change in Punjab and all the things would remain normal.