PIA plane deal with German museum: NA panel calls for fixing responsibility

Parliamentary panel asks PM to apportion blame for fiasco


Riazul Haq November 30, 2017
PHOTO: PIA

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel has asked the Prime Minister to fix responsibility on senior management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) involved in a murky deal of one of its aircraft with Germany with exemplary punishment

After hashing it out over a stretch of several months in Parliament and in over a dozen standing committee meetings the decision has been taken.

The news about missing A-310 aircraft of PIA surfaced earlier this year when it was unveiled that the airplane was sent to Germany bypassing rules, regulations and respective bodies.

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On Wednesday the National Assembly standing committee took strong exception to the absence of the secretary, terming the deal an insult to the nation with the offenders yet to be punished.

“How did this even happen and now the criminals are still holding their offices despite surfacing of all the names,” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Asad Umer asked Aviation Division Joint Secretary Abdul Sattar Khokhar who failed to satisfy incensed committee members.

Aliya Kamran, the mover of the calling attention notice insisted that the chairperson of the committee Rana Muhammad Hayat issue directives to take action against the culprits.

“We are tired of hearing the same old updates from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and PIA and now the onus is on you to take action,” she said.

To this Rana stated that the committee could make recommendations through a letter to PM.

He directed the committee’s secretary to write a letter to the PM to take action in this regard.

The joint secretary told the committee that currently the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) was probing into the matter and also shared details of the deal.

The detailed report submitted also sheds light on the way the entire deal was orchestrated, as well as an update on action against perpetrators.

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According to the report, the then director procurement floated the idea of the sale of outdated PIA aircraft and former chief executive officer Bernd Hildernbrand then approved the sale of the Airbus A-310 to a museum in Leipzig, Germany which had expressed interest in the purchase of the aircraft.

With a cost of 47,500 euros for the structure of the aircraft.

Interestingly the deal was finalised and then an advertisement placed in a local newspaper.

Meanwhile, a London-based company leased the aircraft for a movie to be shot in Malta with the theme of the movie not being conveyed to PIA.

MNA Kamran lamented that the national flag carrier’s aircraft was used by Israelis in a movie against Palestine to which the aviation official stated that the national flag was removed from the aircraft.

The report also states that the then PIA CEO took the decision without taking on board PIA directors or bringing the issue to their knowledge.

Following the shooting, the airplane flew back to Germany but the report did not mention that the plane was flown by Pakistani pilots besides there is no detail about the expenses borne by PIA.

The CEO’s name was put on exit control list and he had not returned to country after requesting one-time permission for 30 days, besides reply is awaited from the then director procurement Air commodore Imran Akhtar to a show cause notice sent to him on May this year.

Similarly, the same museum has also asked PIA to pay the rent for the aircraft of Rs6.4 million which it has yet to pay. The chairperson in the end decided with consensus to write a letter to PM to take action against the culprits and punish them accordingly.

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COMMENTS (2)

Malik Tariq | 2 years ago | Reply | Recommend The main culprits such as Chairman PIA and Director Engg and Director Flight Operations are still around while the Director Procurement and Logistics the main architect of this heist has hid behind his parent institution PAF. PIA Board of Directors which approved this deal gets away Scott Free. The same BOD is given task to shortlist names for CEO and they give three names, including two former MD who drove it to red. Garbage In Garbage Out.
BrainBro | 2 years ago | Reply | Recommend They are making such an issue out of this obsolete airplane. Their only motive is to make sure that PIA doesn't get privatized. Keep paying FBR so that your tax money goes to PIA employee's perks and privileges.
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