ISLAMABAD - The downfall of Pakistan International Airlines can be credited to multiple factors from operational inefficiencies to poor service but birds have a role to play as well.
As the national carrier suffers losses to the tune of millions each month, bird strikes contribute a fraction to the equation as well because a plane affected by such an incident needs millions for repair purposes.
The severity of the crisis can be gauged from the fact that 29 bird hits were reported in the last 5 months at domestic airports alone and when it comes to the ongoing month of May, ten bird strikes have been reported so far.
'Most of the incidents happened at Karachi and Lahore airports,' disclosed the sources.
The strikes damaged seven planes of the carrier. The most recent incident involved Flight PK-310 in which an Airbus-320 flying from Karachi to Quetta was hit by a bird immediately after takeoff; the aircraft was later shifted to the hangar while the passengers were shifted to the lounge who later flew off through an alternative flight.
As per the statistics released officially by the national airline are concerned, 10 bird strike incidents in the ongoing month have been reported at the airports of Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Quetta, Peshawar, Gilgit, and Multan.
In the ongoing year, 16 birdstrike incidents were reported at Karachi and Lahore airports alone while the carrier's planes were also damaged due to birds in Jeddah and Bahrain. Out of 29 incidents for this year, 22 did not involve any damage to the planes.
The birdstrikes incidents occurred during the approach and landing processes and PIA has to bear heavy losses due to bird strikes as the affected planes are temporarily grounded, Express Tribune reported.
As far as the solution to the problem is concerned, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson said the authority has issued a tender for installing modern bird repellency systems at the major airports of the country, hoping that the installation phase of this system will be completed soon.
The spokesperson noted that bird shooters are deployed on a regular basis during aerial operations at the takeoff and landing points to drive away the birds.
The main reason for the birds' presence is garbage sites near airports, which becomes a threat to the planes taking off and landing despite the fact that awareness campaigns are launched among residents of neighborhoods close to airports.
Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 26, 2024 (Monday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.
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