Two of Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) directors have been summoned by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over an investigation regarding corruption in the national carrier.
The accused officers were charged for leasing Airbus A-330 and Airbus A-320 planes on higher rates than normal. Sources indicate that they will be investigated for selling an Airbus A-310 for a very low price and giving away profitable routes to other airlines.
The two officers called by the FIA will appear before the authority today and will get their statements recorded. This was shared by an anonymous PIA official.
PIA’s CEO Bernd Hilderbrand’s name was also among those accused. He was put on the Exit Control List (ECL) a few days ago.
According to sources in the Interior Ministry, Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Abbasi has allowed the FIA to proceed with the investigation. The investigators claim that four members of PIA’s board of directors had opposed the decision to lease the A-330 and A-320 on higher prices.
A-310 Sold for A Car’s Price
An A-310 was allegedly sold by PIA with a low price tag to a German company few months ago. According to the FIA, the plane was sold before the tender was even opened for its sale. PIA invited offers for interested parties for the A-310 in October 2016. The last date was supposed to December 12, 2016 but the aircraft was sold before the last date was given in the advertisement.
A PIA spokesperson claimed that the same A-310 was in Leipzig, Germany for an exhibition where a museum showed interest in purchasing it. It wasn’t sold to them at that time, according to the spokesperson.
FIA on the other hand said a film company hired the plane in Malta for 10 days for a price of € 210,000. Later the same aircraft was sold to a German company for just € 47,500.
Sources state that the plane was airworthy and had a book value of $ 3.51 million reportedly.