PIA forms task force for cancelled flights

April 17, 2010

KARACHI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has formed a task force to meet the challenge and recovery from the situation arising out of cancellation of 32 PIA flights since Thursday last, owing to persistent volcanic ash and subsequent closure of airspace Europe and UK.

A PIA spokesman here on Saturday in a press release said that  the task force would be supervised by the Managing Director Captain Aijaz Haroon and it includes Deputy Managing Director Salim Sayani and senior most Operational Officers.

He further stated it also consists of experienced officers from Passenger Handling, Engineering, Flight Operation, Marketing and Revenue Management, all Station Managers, Security, Planning, Call Center and Emergency Response Center.

It was pointed out that presently, the task force is ensuring maximum passenger care during transit and regular updated information about cancellations and the possibilities of flight resumption.

PIA spokesman said nearly 6,000 passengers in Pakistan and abroad booked on the cancelled flights are waiting to travel as soon as flights begin.

About 400 passengers in transit are lodged at hotels and are being looked after by the airline staff at Paris and other EU destinations.

According to an estimate, PIA has suffered a revenue loss of nearly Rs. 500 million or US dollars six million in the last three days.

The airspace restrictions are likely to remain same until next Wednesday, the spokesman said.


Meekal Ahmed | 13 years ago | Reply You don't want to fly into that stuff even if my heart goes out to those stranded and inconvenienced. In a dramatic incident many years ago a British Airways jumbo heading to Australia under the command of Capt. Eric Moody ran into volcanic ash at 36,000 feet which shut all four of its engines down. All four, one by one. At night and over the Indian Ocean there was nothing to do but let the aircraft drift down and prepare for a ditching at sea. However, fate moved it giant hand and at around 12,000 feet they emerged from the ash. As the Flight Engineer remarked later, the sweetest sound he ever heard was the "thump" of the engines re-igniting one by one. They manged to start three engines, turn back and landed safely in Jakarta even though the cockpit windshield had been blasted with the ash and there was little forward visibility. I suppose they will set up new airways to divert around the ash. That will prolong flight times and cost the airlines more money. But as they say, 'better safe than sorry'.
Syed A. Mateen | 13 years ago | Reply This has created miseries for uncounted people who want to fly in and out from the affected areas. Passengers who are stranded due metrological disturbance cannot claim damages. I am thinking about those passengers whose visas would have been expired by now. Passengers have to face humiliation by immigration authorities from the port of exit and entry.
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