The dispute between Shaheen Air International (SAI) and aviation regulator Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) continues as CAA has banned SAI from using airway bridges for passenger boarding. SAI has already withdrawn its petition from Sindh High Court stating that it’s working on reconciliation.
SAI is a local flight operator in Pakistan, facing a hard time with the country’s aviation regulator CAA.
CAA has banned Shaheen Air from parking its aircraft on airport bays where the airline’s passengers can board aircraft via Airway Bridge. This is causing extra hassle when boarding and disembarking passengers from aircraft.
Sources have told ProPakistani that CAA high officials have instructed not to allow SAI aircraft to be parked on airway bridges instead allowing them to park aircraft on remote bays. By parking on remote bays, SAI will face operational difficulties. The Airline has to start boarding earlier now and use buses to shift passengers from terminal building to aircraft. The same has to be repeated on flight arrival.
“This arrangement is causing discomfort for the SAI passengers and is also increasing operational costs for Shaheen Air,” a source told.
The sources also added that according to the commitment in court, Shaheen Air is bound to pay Rs. 500 million by May 30th, 2018 (today). If the airline fails to pay its dues, the regulator can suspend its operations.
Spokesperson SAI, Zohaib Hassan, told ProPakistani that this decision of CAA came after SAI withdrew its petition from Sindh High Court. SAI obtained a stay order against of CAA’s notice for the payment of Rs. 500 million.
Shaheen Air claims that this payment is unjustified. The airline told the court that as a gesture of goodwill they will withdraw the petition and aim to solve the matter through reconciliation.
“CAA’s decision is unjust because not allowing access to airway bridges is like punishing the passengers and not the airline. Until the passengers board the aircraft, they are CAA’s guests and responsibility,” Zohaib told.
The sources added that SAI is facing acute financial crisis and is also a defaulter of the FBR. A few days ago, the FBR also issued a letter to suspend SAI operations, however, after a partial payment, FBR withdrew its notification.