In a first, PIA Lahore dept performs Boeing’s ‘A’ check

Earlier, aircraft were flown to Karachi for inspection

Usman Hanif August 10, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) engineering department in Lahore has completed check ‘A’ on Boeing 777 after completion of recommended flying hours.

“The Lahore Engineering is now fully capable of performing B777 (AP-BHV) aircraft ‘A’ checks after being approved by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA),” said PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar while talking to The Express Tribune.

It is pertinent to mention that the aircraft structure and engines need to be checked after a certain life cycle.

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After flying for 750 hours, as per recommendation of the aircraft manufacturer, different parts of the airplane, especially the engine, go through ‘A’ check - a light inspection process carried out usually in two to three days, he said.

In addition to this, there is a major scrutiny known as ‘C’ check, which takes two to three weeks and can only be performed at Karachi airport. The PIA management is eager to introduce this facility at Lahore and Islamabad airports in order to save time and money of the airline.

Earlier, the national carrier had to bring aircraft to Karachi airport because it was the only airport approved to carry out maintenance checks of all types. However, this led to the absence of the airliner from the schedule costing millions of rupees besides disturbance the flight schedule. The aircraft flew to Karachi and returned empty.

“A flight of Boeing 777 costs millions per hour,” said the spokesperson.

Last month, the national airline arranged the same setup for Airbus A320 at Islamabad airport.

PIA has three kinds of airliners, ATR, A320 and Boeing 777. Lahore airport has been approved to carry out the A check on all three categories of airplanes.

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“Right now, Islamabad airport is fully equipped to carry out A checks on ATRs and A320s only,” said the spokesperson. “After Lahore, we will move to Islamabad airport for Boeing 777 aircraft check.”

The airline was endeavouring to start ‘C’ check at Islamabad and Lahore airports as well, starting from the ATR - a relatively smaller aircraft with 78 seats, he said.

The national airline was doing this to optimally utilise its resources as per demand of passengers, said the spokesperson.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2019.

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