PIA denies breach of safety regulations


The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said on Sunday that it would investigate allegations into a report about a PIA plane taking off with seven extra passengers from Karachi to Saudi Arabia, but denied that they stood in the aisles for the three-hour-long journey. 

In a recent development, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has issued show-cause notices on Monday to a pilot and two others officials for loading the extra passengers, according to reports.

PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani did not comment on the development, but said separately that: “Disciplinary action has been taken against all concerned officials.”

Capt Anwer Adil, senior purser (air hostess) Hina Turab, and terminal manager Akbar Ali Shah have been issued notices for allegedly letting extra passengers travel on jump seats and the cockpit on PIA flight PK-743.

The development came after an inquiry committee set up by the airline found the allegations to be true.

It was reported that the January 20 flight to Medina carried 416 passengers, seven more than its capacity of 409 including jump seats, in a serious breach of air safety regulations.

Pakistan International Airlines’ spokesman Danyal Gilani said media reports that some passengers travelled standing “are exaggerated and baseless. It is not possible for anyone to travel like that in an aircraft, regardless of the duration of the flight.”

But he said: “The matter pertaining to the travel of more passengers than the booked load…is under investigation,” and the airline had ordered a “thorough probe into it, and all concerned are being questioned”.

“PIA is committed to ensure the safety of all passengers and cannot allow any incident to happen which compromises safety,” added Gilani.

It was the latest embarrassing incident for the airline, considered a global leader until the 1970s but plagued by controversies over recent years and saddled with billions of dollars of debt.

A PIA turboprop built by European manufacturer ATR plummeted into a mountain on December 7, bursting into flames and killing all 47 people on board.