While Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight operations to Europe remain suspended, Turkish Airline has offered its services to transport Pakistani fruit and vegetable exports to other countries. In effect, this means that Turkish Airlines is set to replace Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in Europe by offering reduced freight rates for the export of fruits and vegetables from Pakistan to European destinations.
Earlier, the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) imposed a six month ban on PIA’s flight operations to Europe after reports emerged that around 262 PIA pilots held dubious flying licences.
All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmed said Turkish Airlines had assured Pakistani exporters that it would reduce freight charges on cargo flights to Frankfurt, London and other western cities.
“The airline has also promised provision of excellent facilities to promote export of fruits and vegetables to Europe,” he said. “Fruit and vegetable exporters were perturbed after Europe slapped a six-month ban on PIA flights owing to news of fake licences of Pakistani pilots.”
Keeping that in view, Pakistan Embassy Commercial Counsellor in Istanbul Bilal Khan Pasha met with Turkish Airlines’ Chairman, lker Aycı, and discussed the commencement of commercial flights from Pakistan to the European Union member states, especially for the export of fruits and vegetables.
Ahmed pointed out that PIA had recently reduced freight charges for exporters aimed at reducing their costs and enhancing the export of fruits in the midst of Covid-19, however, businessmen could not avail the incentive due to the ban.