PIA Sells Its Controversial “Missing” Airbus A310

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has sold the infamous Airbus aircraft which had been parked at a German airport since 2016. The aircraft was sold to 2 different parties, with the engine sold to a Turkish company and the airframe sold to the airport’s management where it was parked.

PIA Spokesperson Mashood Tajwar confirmed to ProPakistani that the Airbus A-310 which was parked at Leipzig airport Germany since November 2016 was sold successfully. He claimed that the aircraft was sold via competitive bidding under the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules. He refused to disclose the selling price due to a secrecy clause.

For the sale of the abandoned aircraft, PIA advertised in American and German newspapers in January 2018. In the advertisement, PIA invited bids under the PPRA rules for the sale of the aircraft’s engines and airframe separately. After a  competitive bid, the aircraft was sold to 2 different companies.


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“Sale of the aircraft was completed under the supervision of PPRA. The aircraft engine was sold to a Turkish company ULS Airline Cargo while the airframe was purchased by Leipzig airport management.” Tajwar told.

This aircraft had completed its flying life and had no flying cycles left. PIA’s Chief Executive Officer, Bernd Hildenbrand, sold this aircraft on a throwaway price of Rs. 5.6 million to Leipzig Airport’s management, which wished to display it in a museum. Later, it was disclosed that Bernd Hildenbrand was also associated with Leipzig Airport’s management.

After Bernd was removed from his post in PIA, the airline’s management told Senate Committee that an Airbus A-310 was missing. This news made headlines around the world.

Later, it was disclosed that the aircraft had been chartered by a British company for picturizing a movie in Malta following which the aircraft flew to Germany.

An embezzlement case was registered to nominate Bernd as the prime suspect and his name was added to the Excite Control List (ECL) but he was allowed to leave the country.