Chinese universities host tens of thousands of Pakistani students.
There will be extra fare reductions for students, according to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Students flying from Pakistan to China can now receive discounts of up to 27% from the airline.
Student discount increased by PIA
Student fare discounts were first made available by the Pakistani airline in December, at first only for flights between Beijing and Islamabad. Later, the offer was made available for flights between Islamabad and Chengdu.
Pakistan International Airlines will reportedly reduce ticket prices for students traveling to China by an additional up to 27%. A roundtrip ticket between Beijing and Islamabad is now available for RMB 12,050 ($1,755), including all taxes, according to the airline.
Many people compare Pakistan and China’s “special relationship” to other well-known diplomatic alliances like the US and UK since they have strong international ties. Over 28,000 Pakistani students were enrolled in Chinese universities prior to the COVID pandemic, according to University World News.
Pakistanis were among the few nationalities that were allowed to return in the summer of 2022, with PIA transporting the first 90 students on a special flight to Xi’an in June. Once China’s restrictions were eased early this year, many more students have returned since Pakistani authorities helped arrange the return of over 5,800 students during this time.
China is served twice weekly
From its base at Islamabad International Airport (ISB), PIA currently runs regular flights to two Chinese airports: Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU). These flights are operated once per week on Wednesdays to Beijing and once per week on Sundays to Chengdu.
After beginning service on the Islamabad-Chengdu route in July, the airline increased its footprint in China in 2017. Before to March 2022, PIA was only allowed to fly flights to Beijing; after this date, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) gave the airline additional operating permits to serve more Chinese locations. British auditors complete the audit
An audit of PIA and the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) by a team from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lasted 12 days and was finished on Friday. The audit began when the team arrived in Pakistan earlier this month.
A team from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will conduct its own audit the following month to decide whether PIA will be permitted to resume operations in European airspace.
The airline was barred from European airspace in May 2020 after a fatal crash over Karachi, and its recertification process has encountered numerous obstacles. Flights to the EU would be permitted to resume if the audit is successful and PIA and other PCAA-certified carriers.