ISLAMABAD: US authorities have allowed Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate direct to the United States for the first time in the history of the national carrier, Geo News reported on Thursday.
According to details, the permission was granted by the United States Department of Transportation through a letter issued in response to a request made by PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik.
The letter details that the national carrier will be allowed to operate 12 direct flights to the United States over a month-long period. Malik had written a letter to the US ambassador in this regard earlier in the week.
The letter, also addressed to the US Department of State, was seeking permission to operate PIA special flights to repatriate Pakistanis stranded in the US amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Malik had said that the PIA was actively pursuing approval for resumption of flight operations to the US as the virus crisis had created a situation which necessitated conduct of urgent air service.
Last week, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari had also announced additional flights to bring back Pakistanis stranded in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates UAE, Oman, UK, Qatar, Turkey, Kenya, Bahrain, and Sudan due to the coronavirus lockdown.