UAE denies landing rights to PIA flight


The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority refused to give landing rights to PIA for operating flights to Dubai from Sialkot international airport, located 80 km from here, without mentioning any specific reason for the move.

PIA had planned to start direct flights between Sialkot and Dubai from November 30 and had applied for landing rights a month earlier in line with the agreement between the governments of Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
"This is outrageous. It appears to be a pressure tactic of the Dubai CAA to get more concessions for its airline from the Pakistan government," said a senior official of PIA who did not want to be named.

"The bilateral air services agreement between Pakistan and the UAE allows the designated airlines of Pakistan to operate unlimited flights from any point in Pakistan to Dubai. Similarly, the designated airlines of the UAE are entitled to operate unlimited flights between Dubai and Karachi," the official said.

"Emirates has never been refused permission by Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority to increase its flights to Karachi as provided for in the bilateral air services agreement.
"Six other airlines of the UAE have never violated the bilateral air services agreement and have always granted permission for flights to all airlines of Pakistan," the official said.

PIA, which has run up huge losses over the past few years, has registered a protest with the UAE government and decided to take up the matter through the Pakistan government.

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