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Monday June 17, 2024

PIA pilots suspend flight operations for indefinite period

By Salman Siddiqui
February 03, 2016

KARACHI: Pilots at the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspended the flight operations for an indefinite period on Tuesday evening after their two colleagues lost their lives under alleged “state violence” during the anti-privatisation rally marching towards the Jinnah International Airport in the morning, said a representative of the pilots body. “Under such hostile circumstances, the Executive Committee is left with no choice but to instruct its members not to proceed to any airports of Pakistan till our next directive,” said Captain Sohail Ahmed, General Secretary, Pakistan Air Line Pilots Association, in a handout. Ahmed, while talking to The News, said: “The flight operation would be resumed depending upon the outcome of next round of negotiations between the employees and the government...it may take onehour, one-day, one-week or so.” “PALPA’s 100 percent support is with the PIA anti-privatization employees right from the day one,” he added. In the handout, he maintained PALPA members are standing shoulder to shoulder with all the airline employees against “the privatization of national flag carrier.” He said the PALPA Executive Committee strongly condemns the death of its three colleagues of the PIA family. “The death of their colleagues is the result of direct firing by the authorities on a peaceful protest. This incident was witnessed by hundreds of PIA employees, including a few of our pilot members,” he said. This aggressive and unjust attitude of the authorities has created an unsafe environment and resentment amongst the employees at all the airports, he said. The action from PALPA has caused cancellation of a number of flights on domestic and international routes. PIA operates around 60-65 flights on domestic routes and 30-35 on international routes everyday.