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PIA picks aviation secretary as acting chairman

KARACHI: The board of directors of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has named M Irfan Elahi as acting chairman of the air carrier, according to a statement issued on Thursday.

Elahi will be looking after the PIA board affairs in addition to his current assignment as the federal secretary of Aviation Division. This will be his second term as chairman of the national flag carrier, the statement added.

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The board also took keen interest in taking care of Haseena Gul, a 14-year-old girl from Chitral, who lost all six members of her immediate family in the recent air crash. If needed, PIA would like to take the responsibility of her education as well as living and medical expenses, the board said.

The board was given a detailed briefing on the ATR-42 crash near Havelian on December 7 and apprised of the steps taken by the airline for providing relief, support and assistance to the aggrieved family members.

The Safety Investigation Board is conducting a thorough probe into the incident and PIA is providing forthwith all assistance it needs.

An initial compensation of Rs500,000 has been disbursed to the next of kin of most of the people who lost their lives in the crash and the process will be completed after finalisation of legal formalities.

The board expressed satisfaction that PIA was conducting a comprehensive inspection of all aircraft and directed the management that steps should be taken to ensure highest safety standards.

Matters relating to the airline’s operations and improving its profitability also came up for discussion.

Earlier, Azam Saigol had resigned from the post of PIA chairman on December 12, days after the plane carrying 47 people on board crashed minutes after take-off from Chitral for Islamabad.

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It was the second resignation by a PIA board member in a short span of a couple of weeks. Prior to Saigol, Arif Habib, a renowned businessman, had resigned from the post of director.

PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani said Saigol had stepped down on personal grounds. However, many, including airline officials, linked his resignation with the aircraft crash and development of technical faults in more airplanes.

courtesy : Express Tribune

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