The FIA has started a probe into PIA corruption by calling its two Directors. The PIA management is facing multiple allegations of corruption due to poorly managed operations of the airline.
Charges on Directors for PIA Corruption
The officers were asked by FIA to appear on Monday and record their statements. The main accusation was that PIA acquired some aircraft including A-320 and A-330 at higher than market rates. Similarly, there were allegations of illegally selling an aircraft.
The CEO of PIA Bernd Hildenbrand was also among the accused persons allegedly involved in PIA corruption. The ministry of interior had also included the CEO’s name in the Exit Control List (ECL).
Sources privy to the inside information revealed that four of the members of the PIA BoD (Board of Directors) had initially opposed the plan of leasing A-330 and A-320 aircraft at higher rates.
FIA is also investigating the sale of an A-310 to a Germany company before the opening of the tender.
FIA sources revealed that an aircraft was leased to a Malta company for ten days at the cost of 210,000 Euros. However, Pakistan International Airlines later sold it to a German company for just 45,500 Euros.
FIA said that the airplane was airworthy and its book value was around $3.51 million.
The intelligence agency is also probing into the profitable routes sold by the national carrier to other airlines, allegedly for personal gains and causing loss to itself.
Open Sky Policy
Pakistan International Airlines is following an open sky policy by giving some of the routes to foreign airlines. These foreign airlines are operating several flights to and from the country to other destinations. However, PIA is not operating parallel flights for these routes.
The foreign airlines are charging a very low fare to its passengers as compared to PIA. The small charging of fare than the cost by an airline is called capacity dumping. The idea is to make it unprofitable for other carriers including PIA to compete on the same routes.
Corruption in Pakistan
Corruption is not just limited to the aviation industry or few other sectors. Pakistan has suffered a lot due to the epidemic of corruption. Nepotism, favoritism, and bribe are rampant in several government organizations. Some people even say that if you need to get hired into a government department, it is more important that who you know instead what you know about the job. You can read an earlier post by HoursTV.com on how to reduce corruption in Pakistan.