PIA head offices in Islamabad, Karachi reopen as flights ‘partially’ resume

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) head offices in Karachi and Islamabad reopened Monday, following ‘partial resumption’ of flight operations at various international airports across Pakistan, PIA spokesman Daniyal Gillani said.

PIA flight operations partially resumed at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport on Monday, where flight PK 732 arrived at 1:50pm ─ nearly 12 hours later, however, than its scheduled arrival time ─ carrying pilgrims from Jeddah.

After remaining suspended for six days because of the employees’ strike, PIA flight operations partially resumed on Sunday when the airline’s two Boeing aircraft brought home 725 pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia.

Two more planes took off from Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport for Jeddah on Sunday night to bring back the remaining pilgrims. Another flight (PK-211) left for Dubai in the evening.

The airline’s ATR flight with four people on board landed at the Gilgit airport and returned to Islamabad with the passengers stranded there. One domestic and four international flights were operated from Lahore, but operations from other airports of the country could not resume.

However, PIA employees voiced concerns that proper safety protocol had not been followed to put the planes in the air.

PIA engineers warned the management against operating flights without ensuring the aircraft’s maintenance protocols as it may cause serious safety hazards.

The Society of Aircraft Engineers of Pakistan said: “The PIA management is forcing the engineers to release the aircraft without accomplishment of the prerequisites which are mandatory as per ICAO and PCAA regulations. The safety of passengers and the aircraft itself is being jeopardised. Inspections and components’ replacement issues are being waived off by PCAA Pakistan under pressure by the government officials,”

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