PIA accused of flying standing passenger
On the 20th of February, an incident occurred on a Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight from the Pakistani city of Karachi to Medina, Saudi Arabia. The Boeing 777 aircraft with a seating capacity of 409 was carrying 416 passengers onboard, according to the Guardian.
The official passenger list excluded seven people who boarded with handwritten boarding cards. The airline’s spokesman denied the information that the extra passengers had to stand in the aisles during the three-hour flight by saying “it is not possible for anyone to travel like that in an aircraft,” as quoted by the Guardian.
PIA is now investigating the situation which is a serious violation of safety regulations. The airline said it had taken disciplinary measures against the pilot, who claimed having not been informed about the extra passengers until only after the take-off, and two crew members of the flight.
The breach would have had even more serious consequences if the aircraft was due to evacuate. In the case of an emergency, passengers without seats would not have had oxygen masks and a crowded aisle would also cause congestion in the seeming situation.
Once being a symbol of Pakistan’s engineering and aviation expertise, the carrier is being shaken by huge scandals varying from reports of musty food and lack of entertainment during the flights to debts, corruption or even case of a PIA pilot, who attempted to fly a plane with more than 150 flyers while under the influence of alcohol in 2013.
In December 2016, an ATR-42 plane belonging to PIA crashed with 47 people onboard.
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