The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is facing embarrassment and difficulties in its operations side after authorities at the Moscow airport have refused to release a PIA aircraft that made an emergency landing after developing a technical fault about two weeks back.
Much to the surprise of the flight crew and PIA high-ups in Moscow, officials there refused to handover the plane after they found that the national flag carrier had to clear some debt from the past for using the airport services and facilities.
Per details, a London-bound PIA aircraft (PK 785) with at least 128 passengers on board had to make an emergency landing at Moscow airport after one of its engines ceased to function.
Sources in the PIA said another aircraft flying to Manchester with over 200 passengers on board had been diverted to the Russian capital to take the passengers stranded there to Manchester for their further transportation to London.
PIA officials are still engaged with aviation authorities in Moscow to secure the release of the plane, but the Russians want the PIA to clear the outstanding dues that date way back to the times when PIA used to operate its flights to Moscow. These operations were suspended in early 2000 after operational difficulties of the national flag carrier.
Sources said that it would take another two to three weeks before a breakthrough was expected, probably after the Russians made the PIA pay the dues.
Sources said the episode in Moscow would add to the woes of PIA, already short of planes on national and international routes.