18 May 2022


Mayday mayday


The crash of PIA Airbus A-320 while trying to land in Karachi, killing 97 on board and leaving only two survivors was the most unfortunate accident hitting the airline after the coronavirus.

With financial and administrative irregularities plaguing the airline the number of accidents and nonchalant attitude of the ground staff has caused PIA to fall in the top ten worst airline category in the aviation industry.  The repeated fatal accidents afflicting the airline and earning it a top position in the worst category of airlines is a call for the public to shout “Mayday, Mayday” and for the Supreme Court to take suo moto action to overhaul the entire airline.

“We have lost engines,” “Mayday, mayday, mayday” called the helpless pilot of the ill-fated airbus while passengers can be heard crying and praying in desperation in social media clips. The black box and thorough investigation by foreign experts will tell us if the crash occurred due to technical, or training negligence. PIA has been recruiting pilots and ground staff on political recommendations – nepotism is rampant in the organization and pilots with fake and dubious credentials flying planes.

During a hearing in 2018 the bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was informed that the PIA administration had fired 50 pilots who failed to furnish their educational record. A report submitted to the bench by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revealed that five pilots had not even passed their matriculation examinations.

Mayday, mayday we are losing our national airline. If no action is taken promptly to save the decaying airline such calls God forbid would be repeated again and again until PIA fades into oblivion.

The falling of the plane in residential area while trying to gain altitude due to hitting a building also calls for an inquiry against the building control authority for allowing high rise structures near the airport. Training procedures for pilots, engineers, and recruitment of pilots, implementation of international safety standards are immediately required to be reviewed and implemented.

The nonchalant attitude of the top administration regarding implementation of aircraft safety standards needs to be changed and the pubic assured of high standards.

PIA safety record:

  • In 2016, a PIA ATR 42-500 burst into flames due to engine failure, killing all 48 onboard.
  • In 2013, a PIA jet’s landing gear collapsed as it landed in Oman. The plane was damaged beyond repair.
  • In 2010, an Airbus A321 operated by Pakistani airline Airblue crashed into the hills near Islamabad, killing all 152 onboard.
  • On a flight to Saudi Arabia in January 2017, there was a serious case of overfilling on a PIA flight. All the seats were taken, so the extra passengers were made to stand in the aisle of the aircraft for the duration of the flight -serious safety breach in aviation.
  • Delays due to technical failures are part of its daily routine

We would welcome our readers to share their views on resuscitating PIA into a credible airline.

PIA once upon a time had a very glorious standing among the world airlines.

Your Editor

Shahzad Badar