PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Karachi Int'l) has confirmed it has chartered a Lockheed Hercules C-130 from the Pakistan Air Force (Islamabad Benazir Bhutto Int'l) to cover some of its domestic Pakistan operations affected by the recent grounding of its entire Avions de Transport RĂ©gional (Toulouse Blagnac) fleet.

PIA has confirmed the move is as a result of a Pakistan government directive. Thus far, the military turboprop has been deployed on flights to Gilgit.

Following the crash of ATR42-500 AP-BHO (msn 663) near Islamabad Quaid-e-Azam Int'l last week which killed all forty-two passengers and six crew onboard, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PkCAA) grounded all of PIA's five ATR42-500s and five ATR72-500s until a series of shake-down tests have been completed.

A PIA spokesman has since confirmed that one ATR42 aircraft has now been cleared to resume commercial services. As such, regular flights from Islamabad to Gilgit and Chitral are now expected to resume in the coming days.