UK aviation regulators have approved a request from Pakistan International Airlines to operate Birmingham and Manchester flights using aircraft chartered from Portuguese wet-lease operator Hi Fly.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority last month suspended permission for PIA to operate into the country, after the European Union Aviation Safety Agency had withdrawn the carrier’s third-country operator authorisation.

That was a response to the revelation, following the crash of a PIA Airbus A320 in Karachi on 22 May, that more than 260 of 860 pilot licences issued by Pakistani regulators were fraudulent.

In a 17 August statement, the CAA says it has approved PIA’s request to resume flights from Islamabad to Birmingham and Manchester using Hi Fly aircraft, with effect from 14 August.

Cirium fleets data shows that Hi Fly and its Maltese division have a combined total of 13 aircraft in service – five Airbus A340s, three A330s, two A321s and two A319s – and 10 in storage, including a single A380 plus five A330s and four A340s.