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August 13, 2018

PIA plane stranded in Africa causes loss to national exchequer

Top Story

August 13, 2018

KARACHI: Owing to the flawed strategy and criminal negligence of the national airline administration, an aircraft of Pakistan has been stranded at an African airport for the last 55 hours due to a technical fault, which is causing loss of millions per hour to the national exchequer.

The PIA spokesperson said that the plane was used as a chartered flight, therefore, the department which had chartered the plane would correct its fault and hoped that the plane would be able to take off in a day or two.

According to the details received, PIA plane Boeing 777, with registration no APBHW, had to take nearly 400 pilgrims to Jeddah on August 6 but from Jeddah, the same flight had to take the Askari Aviation’s armed personnel, including high officials to Sialkot.

When this flight PK761 with pilgrims onboard was about to take off from Karachi, the seats had not been booked for the chartered flight from Jeddah to Burundi but after prolonged discussion, the flight took off from Karachi after a delay of four hours.

After this, on August 9, this ferry flight (empty flight) as PK-8001 landed in the African city Burundi’s Bujumbura Airport, from where it had to take off with the armed forces personnel deployed there for Sialkot. The plane’s captain was Basharat.

When all the personnel boarded the plane at the mentioned airport, the plane’s APU failed. APU is an alternative engine and supplies electricity to the plane standing on the ground and works till taxiing. Because that airport is small, similar equipment (starter van) was not available there. If the APU like this has to be sent from Pakistan, it can be sent via a larger plane or C-130. Until now, more than 50 hours have passed and the per hour charges of hotel, parking and other facilities have caused loss of millions to the PIA.

When the APU did not work, all the personnel were offloaded from the plane and were made to stay there in a five star hotel, Club du lac, Tanganyika, on PIA’s expenses.

It is important to mention here that the above-mentioned plane’s APU was already dysfunctional and the entry of which had been made in the log book several times.

Despite this major fault, the PIA administration and Engineering Department gave permission for this ferry flight and then for taking the chartered flight to a small airport. Now PIA’s flight schedule is being adversely affected and it is also not known when this fault will be corrected because the administration is totally confused.

PIA Spokesperson Mashood Tajwar said that the Askari Aviation was dealing with the above-mentioned flight. Earlier, a video concerning PIA went viral this week, which showed a newborn baby’s health deteriorated in an aircraft in Paris when the passengers were onboard the plane.

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