Pakistan International Airlines appears to have pulled up its socks a little too high following this week’s tragic Bhoja Air disaster that killed all 127 passengers and crew on board.
On Monday, a PIA Karachi-bound flight from Peshawar took off an hour before scheduled time, leaving some passengers behind at the Baacha Khan International Airport.
Angry at being left behind, over a dozen passengers then mounted a protest after which they were accommodated on another Karachi-bound flight.
“The plane had left due to an onward connection at Jeddah at 7:40 am, leaving behind 20 passengers in Peshawar,” an airport official told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity. He sought to dispel the impression that a technical fault had caused the situation.
He claimed that most passengers had been informed of the change in schedule but some of them could not be reached via phone, leading to the inconvenient situation.
PIA spokesperson Sultan Hassan corroborated the claim that most passengers had been informed of the change beforehand. However, he had a different reason for the plane’s over-efficiency.
“It was a result of rescheduling of flights that had occurred due to the situation in the past three days. This flight was rescheduled the night before,” Hassan told The Express Tribune.
He also said the plane was to fly on to Faisalabad, not Jeddah, from Karachi. According to him, 10 to 15 passengers had missed the flight.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2012.