An airplane prepares to land at Cointrin airport in Geneva, Switzerland December 5, 2017. — Reuters
An airplane prepares to land at Cointrin airport in Geneva, Switzerland December 5, 2017. — Reuters
  • US shows willingness to take steps for resumption of direct PIA flights.
  • Salman Sufi meets with delegation of US Federal Aviation Administration.
  • “US side conveyed its readiness to have technical discussions with CAA, other relevant depts to undertake necessary visits for resumption of direct flights,” reads statement.

A major breakthrough is expected in Pakistan-US ties as Joe Biden’s administration has assured Pakistan that it is ready to take steps for the resumption of direct Pakistan International Airlines flights to the US.

According to a statement released by the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, Head of Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit Salman Sufi met with US high-ranking officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of South and Central Asia Elizabeth Horst at the US Department of State.

During the meeting, Sufi highlighted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s vision for strategic reforms and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

As part of PM Shehbaz’s reforms, Sufi also met with the delegation of US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and urged to expedite the process for resumption of PIA direct flights from Pakistan to the United States.

“The US side conveyed its readiness to have technical discussions with Civil Aviation Authority and other relevant departments and undertaking necessary visits for resumption of direct flights,” said a statement.

According to Sufi, Federal Minister for Aviation Saad Rafique has been working for the last many months for the resumption of direct flights from the US and they are hoping that all the preparations will be complete in the next six to nine months.

“We have also requested US Department of Agriculture for the appointment of its official at US consulate in Karachi for pre clearance and inspection of export items as this process will save time and cost of our traders,” he added.

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