Pak Airline Allowed 7 Passengers To Stand In Aisles Through Entire Flight
Express News Global
The PIA management appears to have taken this lightly as no action has been taken against those responsible for the incident, the paper said.
PIA spokesperson Danyal Gilani said the matter was being investigated. Mr Gilani told the BBC that an internal investigation has been initiated “and appropriate action will be taken once responsibility is fixed”.
If someone was found responsible for any wrongdoing, the PIA would take stern action against them under the company rules, he said.
The report said allowing seven passengers to travel by standing all the way to the destination constituted a serious air safety breach as in the case of an emergency, passengers without seats would not have access to oxygen. It could also cause congestion in case of an emergency evacuation.
The boarding passes issued to the extra passengers were hand-written and not computer-generated, sources said. The computer-generated list, provided to the aircraft crew by the ground traffic staff, did not mention the details of the seven extra passengers, the report said.
However, Captain Anwer Adil – who operated the flight – maintains that the computer-generated sheet did not show excess passengers. He said: “I had already taken off and the senior purse did not inform me about extra passengers before closing the aircraft door. Therefore after take-off immediate landing back at Karachi was not possible as it required lot of fuel dumping which was not in the interest of the airline.”
Protocol necessitates that in such cases, the aircraft should be brought back to the terminal and excess passengers offloaded, sources said. Only then can an aircraft resume its flight.
Interestingly, the crew of the flight conveniently did not mention the incident in their reports at the end of the journey or after returning to Karachi, the newspaper said.
Pakistan’s national carrier suffers from huge debts, an ageing fleet and a string of corruption scandals. The airline has accumulated liabilities of over Rs. 300 billion and an additional loss of over Rs. 5.6 billion is being added to this amount every month.