Pakistan Air Line Pilots Association (PALPA) has ended its strike after successful talks with Aviation Division. The latest development implies that no special flight of PIA will be delayed or canceled anymore.
Aviation Secretary, Hassan Nasir Jamy, led the talks with PALPA representatives. He assured them that their concerns related to safety measures against COVID-19 will be resolved.
Pilots and crew members of every flight will be provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Moreover, the planes taking the passengers abroad or bringing back stranded Pakistanis from other countries will be sprayed with disinfectants thrice.
According to the agreement, the pilot-in-command will be handed the protective gear. He will ensure the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA). A certificate will be countersigned and verified by the PCAA Inspector from the Directorate of Flight Standards and Directorate of Airworthiness.
Moreover, a PCAA Inspector will brief the captain and his crew and the flight will operate after the captain is satisfied. Following this, the airlines will not be held responsible.
PALPA had gone on strike, with its member pilots refusing to fly planes due to insufficient supply of safety gear to protect them from the novel coronavirus. All this started when five crew members including the pilots of a special Toronto flight returned infected with the coronavirus.
The plane had returned to Pakistan after being stranded for a few days in Canada due to the closure of international airspace. Initial reports revealed that the aircraft crew was not provided PPEs.
Later on, an incident of manhandling at a London flight’s crew at Karachi Airport further aggravated the matter. Soon after the incident, PALPA issued an advisory, asking its members to halt flight operations unless their demands are met.
As a result, A Baghdad-bound flight on Tuesday morning was canceled after its pilot refused to fly the plane. Another Toronto-bound flight PK-783 was late by 4 hours as PIA’s management had to arrange another pilot to operate the flight.