ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has clarified that ATR is perfectly safe for flying and is useful and economical on short haul flights in both hot and cold weather conditions.
Spokesman PIA Danyal Gilani in his reply to media reports regarding ATR not being a safe aircraft, he said several of these aircraft are being operated by airlines in India and Europe.
He said that the media reports suggesting that there was some known defect in the aircraft before its last flight are also totally baseless.
He said it defies rational that pilots and engineers will fly an aircraft that does not meet safety standards and risk their own lives.
Pakistan on Thursday mourned the 47 victims of its deadliest plane crash in four years, including religious preacher Junaid Jamshed.
The ATR-42 aircraft involved in the crash had undergone regular maintenance, including an “A-check” certification in October, claimed PIA Chairman Muhammad Azam Sehgal.
The aircraft, made by French company ATR in 2007, had racked up 18,739 flight hours since joining PIA’s fleet that year.
Its captain, Saleh Janjua, had logged more than 12,000 flight hours over his career, the airline said.
Concern is growing over air safety as media in recent years have reported several near-misses.