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Travel restriction on PIA German CEO lifted after removal of name from ECL

KARACHI: Restriction on Pakistan International Airline (PIA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bernd Hildenbrand from travelling abroad has been lifted after the Interior Ministry  on Friday removed his name from Exit Control List (ECL), ARY News reported.

The statement from Interior Ministry said that the national air carrier’s CEO will depart for Istanbul on May 30 through Turkish Airline from where he would leave for German city Frankfurt.

Earlier, his name was added on the ECL by restricting him to travel abroad for charges of corruption.

Hildenbrand, a German national, was under investigation on charges of corruption. He was accused to acquire a plane from Sri Lankan Airlines on exorbitant charges than the prevailing market rates.

It is worth mentioning here that the Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar, in March had announced the inclusion of national air carrier’s CEO name on ECL for acquiring a plane from Sri Lankan Airlines at $8,000 per hour while stating that another airline had acquired the same type of plane at $4,000 per hour.

He told the media then, “There is a huge ‘multidimensional’ corruption in the airlines. The national air carrier has been ruled by darkness”.

The foreign national has remained a controversial figure since his appointment as CEO PIA.

In December 2016, he was asked to stay in the country over selling a flight-worthy aircraft (A-310) of the airlines to a German museum at throwaway price.

Besides, the security agencies of the country have reportedly not granted him ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) and other clearances to join the airlines.

Moreover, he was denied access to several departments (engineering and hanger) of the airlines since day one.



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