Karachi: The standard of PIA aircrafts’ maintenance is deliberately being relegated, causing severe delays and cancellation of flights as to create unjustified justification or need for purchasing new aircrafts against billions of rupees and further add to the economic woes of the national carrier.
According to the sources, the authorities tasked to look after the maintenance of PIA aircrafts are intentionally not carrying out their duties in proper manner and standard of aircrafts’ maintenance is not being maintained up-to the mark.
The sources informed that the PIA Airbus A310, PK 734/9 August Paris-Lahore has been withheld in Paris during SAFA inspection as the Airbus was found not meeting the safety standards and the passengers are being tried to bring back to Pakistan through PK702 Manchester-Islamabad via Paris .
They shared the recent data of flight delays and cancellation as PIA cancelled the flights PK 233/4 Karachi-Muscat-Karachi, PK 341/2 Karachi-Faisalabad-Karachi and PK 221/222 Faisalabad-Multan-Dubai-Faisalabad due to technical fault in Boeing 737 causing severe mental torture to the passengers.
A flight PK 215 Karachi-Kuwait was delayed for two hours due to fault in landing gear of Boeing 737. Another flight PK 334 Karachi-Multan was returned from the take-off point due to technical fault in Boeing 737 and got delayed for around 3 hours. PK 274 Karachi-Mumbai was also returned from the take-off point due to fault in the airbus landing gear.
A bird hit the flight PK 271 Delhi-Lahore at the time of landing caused damages to the engine. The Boeing 737, PK 263 was to depart for Abu Dhabi but the flight got delayed for 3 hours.
The schedule of 7-August Umrah flights was also disturbed due to the same reasons of technical faults in PIA aircrafts.
Due to fault in landing gear of the aircraft, PK 745 Sialkot-Jeddah was landed in Karachi and it took-off after 5 hours delay. Another flight PK 741 Islamabad-Jeddah departed after one-and-a-half hour delay.
PK7762 Jeddah-Karachi reached the destination after 4 hours delay due to technical fault in the engine of the aircraft. PK7457 Karachi-Jeddah departed after 7 hours delay. PK7458 Jeddah-Lahore reached Lahore after 6 hours delay.
Due to non-availability of aircraft, PK732 Karachi-Multan departed after 14 hours delay and PK331 Multan-Karachi departed after the same hours delay.
The maintenance of new ATR aircrafts has also been relegated which is causing long-delays in their flights as well and improper maintenance of new ATR aircrafts will soon turn them into a junk, sources expressed their concerns.
They said that the airlines all over the world successfully utilize old aircrafts backed by proper maintenance meeting the international standards and ensuring the maximum safety of aircrafts and their passengers. But, unfortunately some vested interests in the national carrier, for gaining personal and unfair advantages, are intentionally endangering the lives of PIA aircrafts and its passengers alike, they added.
They backed their statement citing the example of PIA Airbus A300 which was sold in the tenure of Ex Chairman PIA, Tariq Kirmani, to another airline saying that it had become old and was unable to be maintained anymore. The same Airbus A300 of the PIA is being successfully operated and flown by the other airline and there seems to have nothing wrong with the airbus, they added.
They recalled that unnecessary purchasing of new aircrafts is being tried since the troublesome tenure of Ex MD PIA, Ejaz Haroon, when the purchasing of 27 new aircrafts was proposed but the proposition, fortunately, could not be materialized.
The sources urged the PIA administration to deal with the issue and culprits with iron hands as the regular delays and cancellation of flights have already mounted-up the losses of already financially crippled airline, let alone the unjustified purchasing of new aircrafts.