PIA investigating security breach after 7 passengers forced to stand during flight

Published: February 24, 2017

Seven passengers were forced to stand on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Karachi to Madina on January 20, despite having paid for their respective seats.

The airline boarded passengers on the overbooked flight PK-743 in a serious breach of air safety regulations. The seven excess passengers were forced to stand throughout for the entirety of the four-hour flight.

According to sources, the national carrier’s management, including the pilot, senior purser and traffic staffers are shifting blame on each other for not being vigilant enough.

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The aircraft, a Boeing 777, had a seating alignment for 409 people, including jump seats, but due to negligence, the airliner had 416 passengers aboard.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, PIA spokesperson Danyal Gilani said, “The matter is being investigated closely and anyone found guilty will be taken to task.”

Captain Anwer Adil, who operated the flight on January 20, said in a statement, “After take-off when I came out of the cockpit, the senior purser informed me that there were some extra people who were boarded by traffic staff. I also noticed that some of them were people whom I had categorically refused jump seats at the check-in counter before the flight when they approached me for grant of the jump seat.”

He alleged that they were from the flight services department. “I had already left and the senior purser did not point out extra passengers before closing the aircraft door. Therefore after take-off, immediate landing back in Karachi was not possible. It may be appreciated that immediate landing in Karachi after take-off required a lot of fuel dumping which was not in the interest of the airline,” he added.

Further, the captain said, “In Madina and after landing in Karachi from return flight, I could not highlight this fact in the captain’s debrief.”

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He also said, “It was the responsibility of the senior purser to ensure that the number of passengers tallied with the trim sheet (airline document) and that if there were any extra passengers, she should not have accepted them. It was her responsibility to not close the door if the number of passengers did not tally with the trim sheet.”

The traffic staff was equally responsible as they were under obligation to ensure that only passengers as per the trim sheet board the aircraft and there were no extra passengers on board, the captain further added.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • murtaza
    Feb 24, 2017 - 12:01PM

    Please don’t transform national flight service into Karachi local bus service.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Feb 24, 2017 - 12:06PM

    “It may be appreciated that immediate landing in Karachi after take-off required lot of fuel dumping which was not in the interest of airline”, and the airline couldn’t care less if these 7 passengers were injured during turbulence. Very professional of the captain!Recommend

  • kemosabe
    Feb 24, 2017 - 12:28PM

    PIA is merely a microcosm of the way things are done and handled in Pakistan these days; pray in Allah.Recommend

  • Muneer
    Feb 24, 2017 - 12:42PM

    Let’s get NAB and FBR to investigate this one.Recommend

  • Sara
    Feb 24, 2017 - 1:08PM

    When the PM takes away the planes for his leisure trips the remaining planes have to accommodate the common man. Recommend

  • Khaliq Alam
    Feb 24, 2017 - 1:16PM

    This is ridiculous the management of PIA should be held responsible and everyone who allowed it to happen should be sacked.
    I just have one question for the board of PIA
    if that was your mother standing up in a plane for four hours what would your reaction be? Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Feb 24, 2017 - 1:35PM

    “she could not have excepted”

    she should not have acceptedRecommend

  • Rev Dr Robinson Asghar
    Feb 24, 2017 - 1:36PM

    The unfortunate saga, one after another continues in PIA, thanks the slogan ” Great people to fly with ” is no more in use. The ruling elite, the the careless staff, the looting speer at all levels of the staff and the management continues. The heroin smuggling, the non courteous staff, the attitude non desirous though were not enough and now 7 standing passengers? What a legacy PIA will leave once demise will soon happen.Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Feb 24, 2017 - 1:37PM

    While rest of the world relies on hightech scanner computers for boarding tally,it seems PIA is still operating in eighties..Recommend

  • salman
    Feb 24, 2017 - 1:40PM

    PIA flight PK732 flew on Feb 10th from Jeddah to Karachi had emergency landed out of the runway. In fact the aircraft was thrown in the ground rather gliding. All of us stranded in plane for 30-40 minutes. When we came down of the plane we saw that the engine parts were all over the place on the ground, then we realized that we escaped a narrow crash. Nothing reported in the media and I m sure no inquiry has been launched.Recommend

  • Newton
    Feb 24, 2017 - 2:14PM

    Only in Pakistan such things can happen Recommend

  • k
    Feb 24, 2017 - 5:41PM

    tell me this is not a jokeRecommend

  • Mostly Bull
    Feb 24, 2017 - 8:01PM

    This is again fake news. There were seven seats (two laps of pilots and five of the flight attendants) where the passengers were seated.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 24, 2017 - 9:37PM

    Only standing room available……..and PIA is still losing money .Recommend

  • Shah
    Feb 25, 2017 - 1:35AM

    You mean inquiry and investigation to be done by the Mentally & Morally Corrupt NAB, FBR and FIA ??? Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Feb 25, 2017 - 2:40AM

    Note that common airline rules require all passengers to be seated before the aircraft can leave the gate! Just how did the cabin staff miss 7 people without seats????Recommend

  • Mr. Ali
    Feb 25, 2017 - 12:09PM

    The whole system is corrupt and mismanaged including the aviation authorities in Pakistan. Control checks and security staff in Pakistan airports take bribes, intimidated passangers, planes are frequently behind schedule, there is little done by the so call ed government. PIA shouldn’t be allowed to operate with its security and safety record. They’re endangering lives.Recommend

    Feb 26, 2017 - 4:22PM

    Seven passengers were forced to stand on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Karachi to Madina on January 20, despite having paid for their respective seats.

    This is systematic collapse within PIA the Chairman plus CEO must be asked to resign………..Recommend

  • Gulzar Ahmed Ghumro
    Feb 26, 2017 - 7:22PM

    PIA best airline in the Asia Recommend

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