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KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has resumed its UK operation through a European chartered carrier, "Hifly".

According to details, a flight brought 265 passengers from Manchester to Islamabad overnight.

The flight, which departed Manchester at 9:05pm, carried 26 passengers in the executive economy class while 239 passengers traveled in the economy class.

A PIA spokesman said that the flight also carried 3.5 tons of cargo. He said that it was a makeshift arrangement, and PIA would operate its EU operations through Pegasus Airlines.

Following a temporary ban on PIA imposed by EASA in June after fake licenses scandal, the airline, which used to operate flights to Birmingham, London, Milan (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Oslo (Norway), had earlier approached the Turkish Airlines for a code-sharing agreement, but Turkish Airlines, a star alliance company, appeared reluctant to sign any deal with PIA allegedly due to its reputation, sources said.

Consequently, PIA managed to reach a code-sharing agreement with a Turkish low-cost airline, "Pegasus Airlines".

Sources said that Pegasus Airlines under the said code-sharing agreement would not only facilitate PIA passengers to Birmingham, London, Milan, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Oslo, but it would also offer over 25 other EU destinations, including the ones in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Greece.

They said that PIA under this agreement would book full ticket to the desired destination of the passengers and would take them to Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul from where they would embark on their onward travel by Pegasus Airlines to their final destinations.

To a question, they said this was "the most suitable code-sharing agreement" as fares to be charged by Pegasus Airlines would be the same as compared to the fares offered by PIA.

Presently, there were slot hiccups at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Istanbul, sources said and added that the issue would be resolved shortly through diplomatic channel.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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