The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been granted two more operating licences by the Chinese authorities, for Guangzhou and Xian, in addition to Beijing. Now the national flag carrier can start scheduling passenger flights to and from these stations.
Previously, PIA had the operating licence only for Beijing, but the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted two more operating licences to the airline, enabling it to conduct flight operations between Pakistan and the two Chinese cities, PIA Country Manager Qadir Bux Sangi said on Sunday.
He said that as per the current standard operating procedure of CAAC, international carriers can operate one weekly flight for China. PIA is operating PK854-855 ISB-XIY-PEK-ISB by using Xian's first entry point for Beijing as per CDC approval of the Xian government.
“After the change in the current standard operating procedure of CAAC, we have an option to start our scheduled flights for Guangzhou and Xian also,” he added.
Responding to a question, he said the national flag carrier has also applied for the acquisition of an operating licence for Chengdu station which is under consideration and hopefully, PIA will get its approval next month.
Regarding cargo flights, Sangi said that PIA has got approval from the Chinese authorities to operate chartered cargo flights for Kunming and Shenzhen while approval for Kashgar (Xinjiang) is under process.
He expressed the confidence that the chartered cargo flights to different Chinese cities would help further enhance trade and economic activities between Pakistan and China.
About the resumption of PIA’s weekly Islamabad-Xian-Beijing-Islamabad passenger flights which are currently suspended due to COVID-19 situation, the country manager said that the local government authorities in Xian have been requested permission to resume the flights to Xian as per the previous schedule.
“We are waiting for the formal approval for resumption of flights so that we can facilitate the travellers from both countries,” he added.