Karachi, December 02, 2012 (PPI-OT): PIA flight PK 308 did not catch fire. The news as reported by section of electronic media is totally baseless. PIA spokesman said here on Sunday.
He said that the facts are: PK 308 was being operated on Boeing 747 which has four engines. At the time of departure three of its engine started normally while the fourth engine was not starting due to faulty starter while the plane was on ground for which the Captain called the engineers they tried to start the engine when it did not start the aircraft was parked and passengers were disembarked. The starter of the engine was changed and the same aircraft with 402 passengers took off from Karachi and safely landed in Islamabad at 09.30pm.
CAA President Safety Investigation Board Air Cdr. Basit was personally present at the airport and after checking the aircraft confirmed that there was no fire.
PIA spokesman said that repeatedly telecasting without verification such news items and blowing it out of proportion seriously damages the national flag carrier which is a strategic national asset.
There was no fire on the PIA flight PK 308 (Karachi-Islamabad), a spokesman of the Civil Aviation Authority, Pervez George, said here on Sunday evening. He said that the scheduled time of PK 308 (Karachi-Islamabad) was four p.m.
However, the flight was delayed for an hour due to technical reasons. When the plane was ready for departure at five p.m., one of its engines did not start. Upon this the flight was stopped and the passengers disembarked, the CAA spokesman added.
PIA spokesman further explained that after pushback of the Boeing 747-300, one of the engine did not start due to some minor fault. Aircraft was brought back to the parking bay as per procedure for check up.
After rectification of the snag and when the aircraft was cleared by engineering, the same aircraft with the same engines departed for Islamabad within two hours and twenty minutes including embarkation and disembarkation of more than four hundred passengers.If it had been fire or some major fault the engine would have been removed and new engine installed. Hence it would have taken several hours or a day for same aircraft to depart for any flight.
Therefore reports of fire are ungrounded and are not true.
A ramp return is a routine even for all airlines of the word as frequent travellers would know and we at PIA encourage our crew to remove all doubts before every flight for the safety of the passengers.It is better to be safe on ground than exposing ourselves to any abnormality or emergency in the air..
MD PIA Muhammad Junaid Yunus reiterated that safety of our passengers is of paramount importance and a flight is not dispatched unless PIA is 100% sure of the safety of our passengers.
Unqualified and ungrounded statements not only financially damage the National Carrier, its brand, and also the morale of its hard working eighteen thousand employees.
To make such a big issue of a minor technical fault is uncalled for and only serves to erode the trust of our valuable passengers that its employees are endeavoring to build the National Carriers image they are working very hard for. MD PIA added.
For more information, contact:
S. Sultan Hasan
General Manager, Public Affairs
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
Tel: +9221 9904 0000
Fax: +9221 3457 2225, 3457 0419