PIA refutes reports of grounding its ATR planes
KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has refuted reports on social media regarding the grounding of its ATR planes, ARY NEWS reported quoting the airline’s spokesman.
According to the PIA spokesman, the reports circulated on social media regarding the grounding of the ATR planes were fake and they are still part of the national flag carrier’s flight operations.
“Other than grounded for maintenance or other technical purposes, no ATR plane has been grounded by the PIA,” said the spokesman further refuting that the airline has announced any such move.
He said that all ATR planes are part of the routine flight schedule.
The PIA official said that the airline wanted to include planes that consume low fuel in its fleet and new planes would be acquired as per their needs.
He further denied that the PIA has any plans to ground any of its planes by August 14 and stressed that safety remains the foremost priority of the national flag carrier.
It is pertinent to mention here that in December 2020, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) excluded ATR-72 airplanes, hired on an expensive lease, from its fleet.
the planes were removed from the PIA fleet due to their nonprofitable operation as the planes were hired on an expensive lease in 2015 by the then administration of Pakistan International Airlines.
Though the lease agreement was the biggest hurdle in returning the aircraft on the directions of the CEO Arshad Malik, the administration by taking benefit of a clause of the agreement in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic managed to revoke the pact.
In this context, the first aircraft APB departed for Johannesburg from Karachi today’s morning. Malik said the decision was hard but was inevitable.