KARACHI / LAHORE: In a second incident of Shaheen Air today, the fuel tank of a plane began leaking as it was about to take off from Lahore airport, Express News reported.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has fined the private airline for not maintaining its aircraft according to standards.
Express News correspondent Safdar Hussain, also on board flight 742 said that as the plane was taking off, the fuel tank began leaking due to over-fuelling, forcing the pilot to brake.
The 200 passengers on board the flight remained unhurt. They were shifted to the waiting lounge at the airport where they began protesting, demanding that they be flown in another airline.
PIA to remove aircraft from runway
Director General CAA Nadeem Khan Yousafzai has ordered an immediate inquiry on this incident and has requested Pakistan International Airline to remove the aircraft from the runway.
CAA spokesman Pervez George told The Express Tribune that Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar has directed DG CAA to thoroughly check all aircraft of private airlines.
Plane’s tyres burst
Earlier today, emergency was declared in an aircraft of Shaheen Air when two of its tyres burst during landing at a runway in Karachi.
According to Express News the plane, with about 100 passengers aboard, was bound to land at the 25-L runway at the Jinnah International Airport when the landing gear malfunctioned, causing the tyre to burst from the pressure.
Embers that sparked from the rims were extinguished with the help of water. All passengers and flight crew remained unhurt in the incident.
According to a CAA spokesperson, the Shaheen Air flight No NL 122 was a Boeing 737.
“The tyre of the wheel landing gear exploded. The plane went forward but then screeched to a halt”, he said.
Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar has issued notices to all the airlines, grounding all their aircraft for fitness checking. The checking process will begin on April 23.
Aircraft detected with standards lower than the international criterion will be barred from flying. Pilots will also go through similar fitness checking.
However, CAA sources said that all the aircraft would not be grounded at once and one aircraft would undergo fitness checking at a time, while the flight activities will continue as per routine.
Jinnah International re-opens after hours-long closure
After being shut for many hours, one of the major runways at Jinnah International Airport was re-opened for flights.
Following the Karachi incident, the runway was shut down till 08:30pm and larger aircraft were being redirected to a Nawabshah airport, however smaller aircraft continued to land on other runways.
According to earlier reports, the airport runway was scheduled to re-open for traffic by 5pm but the deadline was later extended to 9pm.
These incidents come two days after the Bhoja Air plane crash that took 127 lives on April 20.