Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has issued show-cause notices to a pilot and two others officials for loading seven extra passengers on a Karachi-Madina flight on January 20.

According to sources, the notice has been issued as overloading passengers was a violation of air safety regulations.

Capt Anwer Adil, senior stewardess (air hostess) Hina Turab and terminal manager Akbar Ali Shah were issued notices for allegedly letting extra passengers travel on jump seats and the cockpit on PIA flight PK-743.

PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani did not comment on the development, but said separately that: “Disciplinary action has been taken against all concerned officials.”

The move came after an inquiry committee set up by the airline found the allegations to be true.

“After in-depth investigation… it has been confirmed that passenger[s] who travelled on [the] flight exceed the aircraft configuration (including jump seats) which is a clear violation of SOP and violation of passenger safety,” read a report signed by Manager Operations Sohail Jaffar Ali.

As per standard operating procedures in cases like these, the report said, the aircraft should be parked again to offload extra passengers which was not done in this case.

Sources said that Capt Adil will not be able to operate flights after being issued the notice. The Civil Aviation Authority is also investigating allegations of safety violation against the captain.

Talking to DawnNews, Capt Adil denied that he allowed extra passengers to travel on jump seats and demanded a transparent inquiry against “whoever allowed passengers on jump seats”.

As many as seven passengers aboard the PIA flight were forced to stand throughout the over three-hour flight after the airline boarded excess passengers.

The Boeing 777 aircraft has a seating capacity of 409, including jump seats, while flight PK-743 carried 416 passengers from Karachi to Madina.

PIA said Sunday it would investigate the allegations, but denied that extra passengers ‘stood in the aisles’ for the three-hour journey.

The airline’s spokesman said media reports that some passengers travelled standing were “exaggerated and baseless. It is not possible for anyone to travel like that in an aircraft, regardless of the duration of the flight.”

However issuing show cause notice confirms overloading of passengers.