Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) always manages to find its way into the headlines and mostly for not the right reasons. We’ve all heard of motorcycles and cars getting stolen but our PIA somehow managed to lose a whole Boeing aircraft.
Yesterday, the issue of a ‘missing’ PIA aircraft was raised in the Senate when Senator Tahir Hussain asked about a PIA plane that he heard had gone missing from the national flag carrier’s fleet.
Some reports are suggesting that the former CEO of PIA, Bernd Hildenbrand, had taken the plane to Germany.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad confirmed that the news was indeed true and that they have formed a committee to probe the matter regarding the missing plane, however “it has not found any clue so far.”
What’s more amazing is that PIA seems to be in a state of panic as a PIA spokesperson told the media that it was not a Boeing plane but an Airbus A-310. He added that “It’s not missing. It’s in Germany.”
Justifying the whole missing plane episode, PIA official said that the plane had been chartered by a British company for a movie in Malta. Following that the aircraft was flown to Germany. He added “The plane had already completed its flying hours and was no longer airworthy. It’s a 30-year-old aircraft and had already been grounded.” The official said that PIA would have had to pay heavy expenses to bring the plane back so it was sold to a company in Germany.
Oddly, it is the same plane that is said to have been used in an Israeli film (not British) and was then sold to a German company for the price of a car i.e. Rs. 5.2 million. A senator had pointed out that even as scrap, the plane would have sold for millions of dollars.
On the other hand the ministry says that the missing plane was taken to Germany by the former CEO.
To sum it up, the upper management and the government have no clue about the missing aircraft. The ministry and the PIA have come up with completely different stories. Both government departments have either jumbled up their stories or are talking about completely different aircrafts.