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PIA passengers stranded in London irked over prolonged delay

A prolonged ‘delay’ in Karachi-bound Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-788 at Heathrow Airport left passengers stranded in London irritated, with many taking to Twitter to voice their complaints.

Aside from quizzing the national flag carrier about the status of the flight, passengers remarked on the lengthy ‘delay’, with some saying any other airline would have been sued by now.

“24 hours and over 300 passengers from PK-788 still sitting,” said one.

Another said, “PIA has no regard for the rules. They should have provided food vouchers and accommodation. Compensation is also due.”

There are conflicting reports on the status of the flight.

PIA Spokesman Daniyal Gilani claimed PK-788 was ‘delayed’ on Sunday “due to technical issues”, whereas Heathrow Airport on its website, however, shows the flight status as cancelled.

The flight has been delayed for over 18 hours now.

The PIA spokesman claimed PK-788 passengers were provided hotel accommodation and that the flight would take off from London’s Heathrow Airport on Monday evening (UK time).

However, Heathrow Airport’s schedule shows there is no PIA flight scheduled for Karachi on Monday or Tuesday. There are, however, flights scheduled to depart from London to Lahore and Islamabad on these days.

The ‘delay’ coincides with PIA’s decision to ground all 10 ATR planes in its fleet after the Civil Aviation Authority directed that shakedown tests of the aircraft be carried out.

The CAA issued the directive six days after a PIA aircraft crashed near Havelian killing all 47 people on board and another ATR-42 flight of the airline grabbed headlines when its pilot aborted the take-off of the Multan-Karachi flight due to some fault in one of its engines.

The national flag carrier stands out as an outlier for poor safety record.

A comparative study of airline safety revealed that PIA has consistently underperformed on airline safety, and it is one of the world’s most disaster-prone airlines.

PIA also has one of the highest employee per plane ratio, which stands at above 700 employees per aircraft, while Emirates has around 220.

Correction: An earlier version of this story quoted the PIA spokesman as saying the flight was cancelled. The error is regretted.

Courtesy : Dawn News



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