Safety first


On 7 November 1993, Bhoja Air started operations on domestic routes between Karachi, Quetta and Lahore. It was registered in Pakistan making Bhoja the first private airline in the country to operate a Western manufactured aircraft.
On 20 April 2012, the aircraft was operating a domestic scheduled flight 213 from Jinnah international airport Karachi to Benazir Bhutto international airport Islamabad. This was the airline’s first evening flight in almost 12 years because due to financial difficulties, Bhoja Air suspended its operations in 2000. On 20 April 2012, the aircraft crashed in bad weather during its approach to Islamabad. All 121 passengers were killed in the crash. There were six crew members, 110 adult passengers, six children and five infants. The landing was attempted during heavy rain and a thunderstorm. Initial reports suggested that as the pilots attempted to land amidst rain and strong winds. However, eye-witness reports say that the aircraft was already on fire before landing, perhaps due to a strike of lightning. Despite the fact that the crash occurred in a residential area, there were no casualties on the ground. It was the second-deadliest aviation accident in Pakistan, the first being the 2010 crash of Air blue Flight 202 that killed all 152 on board, and is the fourth deadliest accident involving the Boeing 737-200 series.
The CAA needs to enforce safety regulations with the utmost strictness so that such unfortunate incidents that lead to loss of lives can be avoided.