Pakistani authorities have cleared one of ten Pakistan International Airlines ATR turboprops to return to service following their grounding for so-called “shakedown tests,” according to a spokesman for PIA. The flagcarrier grounded its ATR fleet in response to the December 7 crash of one of its ATR 42-500s that killed all 47 occupants. The inspections forced the suspension of flights to small airports such as Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Moenjodaro, Zhob, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Chitral and Gilgit. The return to service of the first ATR will allow the resumption of flights from Islamabad to Gilgit and Chitral.
PIA gave no indication of when it expected the remainder of the turboprops to return to service, but it appears the airline will gradually restore its fleet as each airplane passes inspection.