Islamabad-based Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is preemptively set to resume a nonstop connection between the United States and Pakistan, pending security clearance approval from the United State's Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, in the coming weeks.
Initial permission to resume nonstop flights from Pakistan and the United States had been obtained two years ago. A spokesperson for the airline said that three flights will depart weekly for New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JKF/KJFK), but the frequency of departures will most likely be increased over time.
The US transportation security authority had conducted an audit of the security arrangements of the PIA aircraft, it's airports, as well as the performance of the flights that departed from airports in Karachi, Pakistan, and Islamabad, Pakistan.
Owing to security concerns, the United States had prohibited any direct, nonstop flights originating from an airport within Pakistan into its airspace. In October of 2017, the airline had discontinued its flights into the United States because of the rising operating costs, the nightmare of logistics, as well as overall unprofitability, and decided to cease operations on the route in an attempt to cut losses.
Pending the review and approval of the TSA goes on without any major complications, PIA is looking to resume service in May of 2020.
It may be interesting to point out the current issue between the United States, and their diplomatic conflicts between Iran and Iraq, which had raised enough concerns that the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, of the United States, to place an indefinite temporary flight restriction (TFR) over the airspace of the two countries, prohibiting any overflights from any US-registered aircraft. Many other non-US airlines have done the same, with their own aviation authorities coming forward and preventing overflights of Iran and Iraq, especially after the incident involving the Ukrainian airlines flight that departed Tehran, and was accidentally shot down. Whether PIA will avoid overflight or not, it will be something to pay attention to.