PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Islamabad Quaid-e-Azam Int'l) operated its first service from Lahore Int'l to Kuwait on October 7, 2021, after it received approval from the Kuwaiti Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to resume operations to the Gulf country.

"PIA resumes its flight operations to Kuwait thanks to the tremendous support from the government of Pakistan, Minister of Civil Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in getting rights restored. PIA vows to serve the nation with dedication, starting with two flights per week," PIA Chief Executive Arshad Malik said via Twitter.

PIA had been banned from serving Kuwait since May 2021 on COVID-prevention grounds, even as Kuwaiti carriers (Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways) continued to operate to Pakistan on a scheduled basis. In September, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) sided with its national airline and threatened to retaliate with restrictions on Kuwaiti carriers as of October 1. As the crisis was not resolved by the deadline, the PCAA implemented its warning and limited both Kuwaiti carriers by one weekly flight each, to three weekly services for Kuwait Airways and two for its LCC rival.

The PCAA did not issue any statement concerning the return of previously suspended traffic rights to Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways. Neither the regulator nor any of the two Kuwaiti carriers responded to ch-aviation's request for comment.