PIA launched a probe after complaints about seven passengers who had to stand the whole trip. The passengers traveling by flight PK-743 (Karachi-Medina) were made to stand throughout the journey. So far PIA has not taken any action against the people responsible. The PIA safety breach not only inconvenience passengers but also put the entire flight’s safety at risk.
Blame of the PIA Safety Breach
None of the PIA employees are willing to take the blame. Senior Purser, Traffic Staffers, and Pilot are shifting the blame to each other. Civil Aviation Authority also seems reluctant to take any action.
The PIA safety breach happened because the Boeing 777 plane with a seating capacity of 409 passengers had to accommodate 416 passengers.
The passengers who had to stand had no access to the oxygen masks, potentially causing congestion problems.
Captain Anwer Adil said that he only came to know about the passengers once the flight took off. He stated that the Senior Purser failed to inform him about extra passengers before closing aircraft’s doors. Capt. Adil added that he could not land the plane as it would have meant dumping fuel, something airlines do not like, so he went on with the flight to save cost. The matter only came to light when the passengers complained about the safety breach.
Several media outlets tried to reach PIA Spokesperson Danyal Gilani but to no avail. PIA’s only response on this matter was, “the case is under investigation, and anyone found violating company rules would face strict disciplinary action.”
PIA’s pilot did not follow the SOP. In the case of a safety breach, there is a protocol requiring the pilot to land the aircraft and unload the extra passengers.
Hand Written Boarding Passes
PIA gave hand-written boarding passes to the additional passengers boarding the flight. The computer-generated list did not include details about passengers carrying the hand-written boarding passes. PIA seems to be going old-school here. The issuance of hand written boarding passes makes it impossible to know the total number of actual passengers boarding the plane.
Poor Safety Record of PIA
Pakistanis are used to the poor flight safety record of PIA. The memory of the ATR-42 crash is still fresh in our minds, which claimed 48 lives. The ATR-42 was the 10th disaster striking PIA since the year 2000. PIA’s safety records remain dubious at best. Engine failure was the cause announced behind the crash.
The pilot of the ATR-42 flight called a few minutes before the crash to report about the engine developing a technical problem. He made “mayday” call just a few moments before the collision. At that time PIA claimed that the ATR-42 was regularly checked and maintained.
PIA must stop playing with the lives of the innocent passengers. It is high time PIA should seriously think about their flaws take serious actions agains the culprits. And it starts by fulfilling PIA’s safety procedures. The use of handwritten boarding passes does not only speak about compromise on passenger safety but also the corrupt elements eating away PIA’s revenues.