Boeing 777 can now be 'A' checked in Islamabad

It will lead to big savings coupled with convenience of flight schedule

​ Our Correspondent October 11, 2019
A Pakistan International Airline carrier. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: The engineering department of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has now made it possible for Boeing 777 aircraft to get maintainence check in Islamabad, which was earlier possible only in Karachi.

The achievement will lead to massive savings coupled with convenience of flight schedule for the national flag carrier. “PIA has upgraded its maintenance facility in Islamabad by enabling it to carry out check ‘A’ on Boeing 777 and now aircraft will not have to fly to Karachi for the required maintenance,” said PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar in a statement.

In mid-September, a news story emerged in the media on an audit report which stated that the national airline had operated 46 flights without passengers which caused losses worth millions of rupees. Those empty flights were most probably the airplanes flying to Karachi for safety checks because previously Karachi was the only station approved to carry out maintenance checks on all types of aircraft.

Thus, the airplanes had to be flown to Karachi for routine checks. However, in August 2019, the Lahore base was upgraded followed by the Islamabad base for ‘A’ checks on Boeing 777.

The spokesperson termed it a big achievement following the enhancement of technical capability in Islamabad for A320 aircraft. “The engineering base has now been enabled to cater to the needs of Boeing 777s,” he said.

On October 10, 2019, the PIA engineering department in Islamabad completed check ‘A’ on Boeing 777 (AP-BHX) after completion of recommended flying hours, ie 75 days or 1,000 flying hours.

Tajwar added that the Islamabad engineering department was now fully capable of performing Boeing 777 ‘A’ checks following approval from the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA).

PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik has termed the achievement a major step towards self-reliance by the PIA engineering department.

He said it would not only help in reducing expenses, saving ground maintenance time and improving flight punctuality but would also help PIA earn extra revenue by providing services to other airlines.

He congratulated the engineering team and other people who worked on the project for achieving a new milestone.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2019.

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