The grounded shaheen: Flight delayed by 21 hours at BKIA

PIA flight bound for Karachi delayed for two hours


Our Correspondent March 26, 2016
PIA flight bound for Karachi delayed for two hours. PHOTO: IQBAL HAIDER/EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: Shaheen Airlines sent passengers to a local hotel after a flight, NL-792, was delayed for some 21 hours.

The passengers protested against the delay at Bacha Khan International Airport (BKIA).

NL-792 was scheduled to depart at 11:55am for Sharjah, UAE. However, the flight could not depart at the scheduled time and 165 or so passengers were informed that it was delayed.

“We protested in the lounge and chanted slogans against the airline administration as we were repeatedly told that the flight will depart soon,” Sajjad Ahmad, a resident of Katlang in Mardan, said.

He stated that a number of passengers, including children and the elderly, were sitting inside the lounge. He added many had to eat breakfast earlier than scheduled as the flight was to depart at 11:55am, pointing out the blood pressure of some of the elderly passengers had dropped.

“Other passengers are trying to feed them with whatever they have,” he said. Taking notice of the crying children, he said nobody bothered to understand the problems faced by those scheduled to board this flight.

Ahmad stated the airline management did not even ask passengers for water or a cup of tea. “We are told every hour that the flight will depart soon, but that is never the case and now the lounge is overcrowded with waiting passengers.”

When contacted, Shaheen Airlines Station Manager Muhammad Mushtaq told The Express Tribune the plane was present at the facility, but technical problems were keeping it grounded.

“We can understand the problems being faced by the passengers, but there is a technical problem in the plane and we have decided that the flight will depart for Sharjah on Sunday (today) at 8:15am,” Mushtaq said. He added passengers were served food and all of them were being driven to a local hotel.

However, Ahmad was less than happy with these arrangements, saying one room with three beds was arranged for six people. He added some of the locals of Peshawar decided to head back to their homes.

Another flight delayed

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, PK-351, scheduled to leave for Karachi, was also delayed by around two hours due to the absence of a passenger plane.

Official said since PK-284, scheduled to arrive at BKIA from Dubai, could not reach on time, the flight to Karachi was consequently delayed.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2016.

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