Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Friday slammed media reports suggesting the ATR-42 aircraft which crashed in Abbottabad was faulty and not airworthy.
“Media reports suggesting that there was some known defect in the aircraft before its last flight are totally baseless. It defies common sense that pilots and engineers would fly an aircraft that does not meet safety standards, and risk their own lives,” PIA Spokesperson Danyal Gilani said.
As questions arise regarding the airworthiness of ATR-42, the airline’s spokesperson said, “ATR is perfectly safe for flying and is useful and economical on short haul flights in both hot and cold weather conditions.”
Several of these aircraft are being operated by airlines in India and Europe, he added.
Engine trouble is initially believed responsible for Wednesday’s deadly plane crash, but many questions remain, including the airworthiness of the ATR-42 aircraft, stirring new worries about the safety record of the ailing national carrier PIA.
The plane was en route to Islamabad from Chitral when one of its two turboprop engines failed shortly after take-off, causing it to crash into the mountains of Batolni village of Havelian— 32 nautical miles from Benazir Bhutto International Airport, killing everyone on board.