PIA’s Controversial Plane Lease is Being Investigated: FIA

The National Assembly was informed that the matter of leasing A-330 aircraft from Sri Lankan Airlines is currently under scrutiny of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and their inquiry in this regard is currently underway.

The Aviation Division informed the House in written that any alleged irregularities in the subject deal or any alleged misuse of authority in lieu thereof can only be ascertained / established subject to the outcome of the said inquiry.

Bernd Hildenbrand, a German national was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Pakistan International Airlines w.e.f. 12th February, 2016. He was appointed on contract basis, for a period of 02 years. Effective 9th May, 2016, he was assigned responsibility as Acting Chief Executive Officer of PIACL.

As per result of a advertisement, a total of 23 candidates applied for the position of Chief Operating Officer. The 04 short listed candidates went through preliminary interview. In the second phase two candidates including one Pakistani were interviewed by a duly constituted selection Board, which selected Hildenbrand as COO of PIACL.

The approving authority for the said appointment of COO being referred is the Chairman / Board of Directors PIACL which is the competent authority as per rules.

Subsequently, the PIACL Board of Directors authorized Acting CEO to finalize and sign Wet Lease agreement with Sri Lankan Airlines.

There has been no irregularity as far as the appointment process of the COO is concerned. Furthermore, no such allegation was ever leveled by any quarter concerned. Hence the question of inquiry against the appointing authority does not arise.

The House was further informed that presently, PIACL fleet comprised of 35 aircraft, 12 aircraft are owned by PIAC and remaining 23 are acquired on wet / dry lease.


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