ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided to submit a calling attention notice in the Senate against the ‘illegal sale’ of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)’s aircraft to a German company.
PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwalla said in a statement that PIA A-310 aircraft had been sold without award of a tender and it had been handed over to the German company long before even opening of the tender for the favourites.
According to the senator, the airplane was flight worthy and an authentic certificate was issued before it went to Malta for a shot of a movie. Later on, the airplane was sent to a German museum.
“All this was done without taking formal approval of the PIA board of directors,” said Mandviwalla. The market value of PIA’s A-310 was in millions of dollars but it was sold for just Rs5.3 million.
Federal Minister Muhammad Zubair had admitted that the deal indeed seemed to be fishy, he said, adding the plane was sold for €290,000, out of which €250,000 would be given to PIA immediately and the remaining €40,000 would be paid later.
Mandviwalla said Pakistan’s national asset and property had been sold illegally and a thorough investigation should be carried out and an FIR should be registered against the acting PIA CEO, who was involved in the deal.
He said the PIA management was presenting lame excuses and denying facts.
However, PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani, while rejecting Mandviwalla’s allegations, said it was an inaccurate perception that the national carrier had sold an aircraft through illegal process. He said PIA had invited bids for the aircraft sale through advertisement in the media and bids were opened on Tuesday (December 13) in accordance with relevant rules.
PIA had planned to sell its aging A-310 plane and a museum in Germany expressed interest in buying the plane to keep it as a symbol of PIA’s presence in Europe, among aircraft of several other international airlines.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2016.