PIA denies passengers forced to stand during flight

The flight to Madina reportedly carried seven more passengers than its capacity in a serious breach of regulations

Afp February 26, 2017
A report said that the January 20 flight to Madina carried 416 passengers, seven more than its capacity. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan International Airline (PIA) said Sunday it would investigate allegations that a plane flew from Karachi to Saudi Arabia carrying seven extra passengers, but denied they stood in the aisles for the three-hour journey.

The January 20 flight to Madina carried 416 passengers, seven more than its capacity of 409 including jump seats, in a serious breach of air safety regulations.

PIA spokesperson Danyal Gilani said media reports that some passengers travelled standing "are exaggerated and baseless. It is not possible for anyone to travel like that in an aircraft, regardless of the duration of the flight."

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But he said: "The matter pertaining to the travel of more passengers than the booked load...is under investigation," and the airline had ordered a "thorough probe into it, and all concerned are being questioned".

"PIA is committed to ensure the safety of the passengers and cannot allow any incident to happen which compromises safety," he added.

It was the latest embarrassing incident for the national flag carrier, considered a global leader until the 1970s but plagued by controversies over recent years and saddled with billions of dollars of debt.

A PIA turboprop built by European manufacturer ATR plummeted into a mountain in a northern region on December 7, bursting into flames and killing all 47 people on board.

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The airline was later mocked after its staff were photographed sacrificing a goat on a runway to ward off bad luck.

Domestic flights are often delayed for VIPs while flight employees have been caught smuggling goods ranging from iPhones to narcotics.

In 2013 one of its pilots was jailed for nine months in Britain for being drunk before he was due to fly from Leeds to Islamabad with 156 people on board.


kemosabe | 5 years ago | Reply A large roll of yellow crime scene investigation tape needs to be wrapped around PIA headquarters with top management put under bright lights and a microscope !
numbersnumbers | 5 years ago | Reply Note what has been omitted by PIA! Aircraft has seats for 409, including jump seats for use by the air staff during takeoffs, landings, and turbulence when all aboard must remain seated INCLUDING air staff! 416 on board means that 7 individuals must have had no seats at all during takeoffs, landings and turbulence events! Where were they during those events PIA???? Perhaps PIA thinks that 7 people sitting in the way in aisles or galleys on the floor is OK for 3 hours, but travel to the West that way and watch your landing rights be revoked! BTW hand written boarding passes are useless in the West since you cannot clear security pre checks without proper printed boarding passes!
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