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Govt decides to end open sky policy: Fawad

Govt decides to end open sky policy: Fawad

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to end the open sky policy in order to prevent losses to national flag carrier i.e. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Federal Minster for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain at a press conference after the federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday said that the government had decided to end the country’s open sky policy which proved to be disastrous for PIA. Most of the profitable routes were given to international airlines which led to huge loss for PIA, he said.

All agreements with international airlines would be reviewed, he added.

He said that the cabinet approved civil aviation policy to pro-actively promote tourism and give boost to aviation industry in the country. The decisions made in the cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said traveling to the tourist resorts of Pakistan will be facilitated by reducing travel expenditures.

Fawad said facilities, including reduction in traveling expenses and cuts in taxes, worth Rs3.8 billion would be offered to promote tourism and aviation sector.

He said the cabinet also discussed to start helicopter and 40-seat plane service to the tourist sites in the country including Gilgit-Baltistan and Swat.

The purpose for this initiative, was to provide benefits to local aviation industry,” he said, adding that it was necessary to improve travel facilities to the country’s tourist locations to attract elite tourism.

The minister announced that passenger airlines in Pakistan will be allowed to import aeroplanes which are 18-years-old compared to the previous limit of 12 years while cargo planes up to 30 years old, could be imported.

New recommendations with regards to aviation also included charges on flight kitchens being abolished, and a recommendation to reduce taxes on domestic routes, he added.

The minister also announced a special initiative by CAA of paying up to Rs 400,000 in fees for women to attract them for becoming pilots.