PIA optimistic of resuming cargo ops to EU

Temporary suspension of PIA’s cargo service came on the heels of a deadly attack on Karachi airport that raised concerns over aviation security.

ACC3 Jinnah International Airport Karachi airport Pakistan International Airlines PIA

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is hoping to receive its ACC3 (Air Cargo or Mail Carrier operating into the Union from a Third Country) validation that will allow it to resume cargo service to Europe, which was suspended on 28 July. The national carrier says it is confident about getting the mandatory clearance as it has spent months putting in place relevant systems and procedures to comply with the new European Union conditions that came into effect officially on 1 July. 

“It was not our fault at all,” an unnamed official with the airline told the Pakistan Observer. “This temporary restriction wouldn’t have been imposed in the first place if the validation had been done on time. We’re hoping that the validation officials will visit at least one of the stations within a week.”

PIA is the only Pakistani airline operating cargo service to Europe conducting cargo operations from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on its B777 and A310 aircraft. “There is a Green category, which includes countries that do not need validation. Then there is the White category, which includes most. Unfortunately, Pakistan is placed in the high-risk Red category. So we are under a very close watch,” the official said. In compliance with the regulations, PIA has installed dual view scanners, explosive trace detectors (ETDs) and deployed dogs trained in identifying explosives.  A pre-validation inspection has already cleared PIA to run cargo service to the EU.