The dispute between the aviation regulator Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Shaheen Air International (SAI) has become severe. Both organizations hurled allegations at each other recently.
Shaheen Air International (SAI) Chief Operating Officer Faysal Rafiq used harsh language in his media briefing, stating that the Pakistani aviation industry is experiencing a hostile environment since 2015, especially the private sector. The harsh policies targeting local private airlines are stifling their growth, while benefits are being reaped by Foreign and National carriers.
“Shaheen Air International is financially and operationally a strong and growing airline. But CAA Director General Air Marshal (Retired) Asim Sulaman, for unknown reasons, is showing unfairness toward SAI. He and his office has not responded to any letter or reminder, and has not even returned phone calls. “ Faisal Rafiq added.
Faysal Raifq further said that their RPT license for 4 years was put on hold, while the airline was only given interim approvals for 15-30 days. The airline was asked to fulfill documentations and procedures which were not even a part of the process.
“Due to DG CAA’s non-cooperative, non-professional behavior, we demand PM Nawaz Sharif and the Government to intervene in this matter and dismiss the DG CAA. “ Faysal demanded.
Faysal admitted that SAI is not paying their dues on time. He confessed that SAI has to pay CAA more than Rs. 400 million. This was due to cancellation of new routes and flights.
“SAI was forced to cancel the Multan to Muscat route and the airline was also denied operating the inaugural flight for Manchester on the grounds for not performing the demo flight. SAI is also facing hurdles on the Kuala Lumpur route.” Faysal told the media.
It seems SAI is being wrongly targeted by CAA, which has resulted in a significant dip in its financial performance and has hurt the airline’s image amongst customers.
On the other hand CAA issued a press statement on this issue and told the media that SAI’s documentation is not completed.
“For the greater benefit of the country’s aviation industry, the CAA will grant permission to SAI to carry out its operations once it has completed and submitted the required documents within 45 days. If SAI fails to do so, its operations may be suspended. “ CAA spokesperson said.
“SAI’s documentation regarding regular public transport for the issuance of the license are not completed. SAI sold the tickets on new routes without fulfilling the legal requirements.” – CAA
‘SAI has also defaulted on its dues and charges owed to the CAA. SAI’s collection of revenue from passengers is unethical and therefore unlawful,’ CAA press statement says.