PIA planes wither but CAA doesn’t care


The recent incidents of emergency landings by passenger aircraft of the national flag carrier happened due to poor maintenance but the aviation regulatory authority has turned a blind eye to the problem, putting thousands of innocent lives at risk.
The alarming situation has also created confusion among thousands of passengers who board Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights everyday, without having any idea that their safety is being compromised; however, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been found compromising and provides no information to the passengers about potential risks of flying with poorly-maintained aircraft.
On August 3, Muscat-bound PIA flight PK-501 via Karachi to Turbat made an emergency landing at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi as one of its engines broke down half-an-hour after takeoff. The plane, carrying twenty passengers besides crew members, returned to Karachi airport and was able to land safely.
The same day another PIA flight, PK-508, en route to Karachi from Punjgur made an emergency landing at the Jinnah International Airport as one of its engines broke down.
Last month, PIA flight PK-734, Airbus A-310, returning from Milan via Paris-Lahore was detained at the Charles de Gualle Airport in Paris, when the Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) inspectors reported over 30 safety issues with the aircraft. The passengers were later flown back to Pakistan through PK-702 from Manchester-Islamabad flight via Paris.
The PIA’s Avion de Transport Regional (ATR) 42-500 twin turbo-prop aircraft are manufactured by a joint venture between European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company NV (EADS) and Alenia Aeronautica, an Italian-French company with its headquarters in Toulouse, France. The national flag carrier currently has seven ATR planes in service that were inducted in the fleet to replace the obsolete Fokker planes. The ATR 42-500 can carry up to 50 passengers.
In March 2007, due to violation of aviation safety standards, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) exempting only seven aircraft had banned 35 Boeing 777s series planes of the PIA from flying over the 27-nation bloc of the European Union (EU). The restriction was imposed after a number of accidents were reported about PIA’s outdated Fokker fleet. Consequently, the national airline made a large cut in its domestic and Middle East operations and grounded its ageing Fokker fleet.
Pakistan’s image of air safety compliance has already been badly affected by the recent tragic disasters of Airblue, JS Air and Sun Way.
With the responsibility of developing an internal mechanism and institutional culture to address aviation safety violations lying with the CAA, industry experts and passengers demand that there are serious issues related to flight standards and airworthiness of aircraft that need to be addressed by the CAA in order to ensure safety and security of passengers and reduce the probability of plane crashes.
Talking with Pakistan Today, Advocate Shah Murad said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is charged with the regulation of civil aviation worldwide, having 190 contracted countries.
“It is impossible for the ICAO to be responsible for safety of each and every commercial flight; therefore, within the Chicago Convention, 1944 framework, the organisation promotes technical and operational safety of civil aviation through establishment of safety oversight responsibility and security audit programmes for verifying state compliance with International Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs).”
The ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit is a function by which members ensure effective implementation and compliance of safety related SARPs, he added.
The CAA, however, is not doing enough to ensure compliance of ICAO’s safety oversight and protect air passengers at high risk due to violations in aviation safety procedures.
When contacted, official PIA spokesperson Mashhud Tajwar was of the view that fleet maintenance is ‘satisfactory under the given resources.’
He also claimed the national carrier to be one of the best airlines in the world. “We do not operate flights even with a miniscule problem that shows our commitment to the safety of passengers.” On the issue of flight delays, he claimed that about 80 percent of the recent flight delays were due to bad weather, resulting in consequential delays of other flights.


  1. Damn with PIA, the whole nation of Pakistan is being looted, cheated and repeatedly deceived by the military and political establishment. Surprisingly, they fell prey to the establishment very easily

  2. Just take these sifarshees n political element out of Pia n let the induction of required professionals be on merit basis, then atleast the Pia would definately come out of this depression. whole of Pk is under attsck by these dishonest-selfish political people.

  3. I flew with PIA this year on a return flight from Toronto, Canada to Karchi, Pakistan. The direct flights were between 13 & 15 hours each. I found not cause for alarm; moreover, the service was very professional. I find it strange that PIA has not been in North American NEWS regarding any of these alligations.

  4. The boeing 737 used for Dubai to Faislabad/Multan are the same planes I used to sit in 20 years ago. Cabin modifications and repairs look more like local handyman fixes. I also flew the fokkers before they were grounded and they were the same (once the cockpit had exposed wires and gaps you could out your hand through in the console). If they cannot maintain superficial aspects, heavan knows what shortcuts they take with internal mechanics.

  5. stop rubbing your own national asset the only national airline into the ground .
    Think before you open your mouth as the whole world is watching and listning to
    what you say .there is enough muck bieng thrown on pakistan and Pakistanis
    all over the world .I've spent almost all my life abroad except the first 20 years of my life and have seen the decline of our nation's fortunes . If every pakistani started thinking for a mement to find where he/she is going wrong instead of blaming each other may be we can put our nation, its institutions, and each other onto a straight and honest path and achieve the dreams of our forefathers who sacrificed so much fot this unfortunate nation and its people . my prayers are with all of you. Jalees-leicester-united kingdom

  6. The Baloch nation is being forced to fly on these flights, compromising their safety in the air in the hands of a greedy company that has no regard to human’s safety…
    Shame on the PIA and Pokistani government to keep ignoring the safety of humans that are forced to fly in these flying coffins that are not supposed to be flying in the first place. At least EU has its inspectors, but what about Oman and other countries these flights fly into? Who is going to check on them?….or are we waiting for a disaster to take place and then we "investigate" these waiting to happen accidents????? DAMN…

  7. If the information in this article is true than I consider this an end to basic signs of humanity in Pakistan society and its mindset. This means people are immune to all possible faces of corruption to such extents where they probably do not even think about the consequences to their corrupt actions. O the corrupt hearts and minds of Pakistan" do you realize the pain and sense of loss a family goes through when they lose a loved one??? I guess you don't and you never would until the day you experience it yourselves. Have the fear of god as he is mighty and revengeful and very capable of sending the same taste of tragedy to your own doors.

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