'PIA still owns the A-310 plane taken away to Germany by ex-CEO'

National flag carrier says it has not sold its A-310 aircraft to a German museum, FIA investigating the matter

News Desk September 13, 2017

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) maintained on Wednesday that it had not sold its A-310 aircraft to a museum in Germany and the one present there still belonged to the national flag carrier.

A PIA spokesperson further added that the issue of the airline's A-310 aircraft being taken to Germany was being investigated by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Express News reported.

During a discussion in Senate on Tuesday, it was pointed out that the former acting CEO of the airline, Bernd Hildenbrand from Germany, had taken the plane to his country when he left Pakistan.

Sources said that the A-310 aircraft was grounded and removed from the PIA's fleet after being declared unfit for use anymore.

Senators raise questions over sale of flight-worthy PIA aircraft to German museum

The plane is believed to be in the German city of Leipzig and is reportedly being given a new paint job. Besides, there are also reports that it has been used in an Israeli film.

In March this year, a special parliamentary panel had disapproved of the PIA’s "decision" to sell its aircraft to a German museum, stating that it was in violation of rules.

Demanding a report on the matter from the national carrier, the committee said PIA flights were being flown through Germany because the CEO belonged to the country, and that the sale of Airbus A-310 was an ‘irregular’ deal.

Hildenbrand's name was placed on the exit control list over corruption charges, including the sale of the PIA plane to a museum in Germany.

However, his name was removed from list and he returned to Germany.

In December last year, the Pakistan People's Party had submitted a call attention notice in the Senate against the ‘illegal sale’ of the aircraft to a German company.

PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwalla said in a statement that the 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.

“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.


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