LAHORE - The FIA Punjab has summoned two directors of PIA to appear before the authority over an inquiry wherein the airline management was facing multiple charges of corruption, said sources in FIA on Sunday.

The officers were directed to appear on Monday (today) and get their statements recorded, said an officer of PIA on condition of anonymity. He said that PIA management was facing charges of acquiring some aircraft including A-330 and A-320 on inflated rates, illegal sale of another aircraft A-310 and sale of profitable routes to other airlines.

Name of CEO Bernd Hildenbrand was also among the accused who were facing charges and his name was put on ECL a few days back.

Sources in Ministry of Interior said that Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Abbasi had given go-head to FIA investigators to look into the mater. They claimed that four members of the board of directors (BoD) of PIA had opposed the plan of leasing A-330 and A-320 on such high rates.

Sources said that FIA was investigating that national carrier management sold an A-310 aircraft to a German company on throwaway price a few months ago.

Sources in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) claimed that the plane had been sold and handed over to the German company even before opening of the tender.

It’s the third major corruption scandal that has surfaced in the national airline in recent months as the FIA is already conducting an inquiry for lease of A-330 and A-320 planes at inflated rates.

About the new scandal, FIA sources revealed that in October 2016, offers were sought from interested parties by December 12, 2016 for the sale of A-310 plane. But the aircraft was sold even before the last date given in advertisement.

However, the PIA spokesman claimed that plane was in Germany to participate in an exhibition and a museum in Leipzig has expressed its desire of buying it, but it had not been sold as yet and it was a PIA property so far.

FIA sources said that the said aircraft was hired by a company of Malta for 10 days against payment of 210,000 Euros but the same aircraft was later sold to the German company against 45,500 Euros.

The investigation agency claims that plane was airworthy and as per annual assessment of the airline its book value was $3.51 million.

FIA was also investigating on the lines that PIA management had sold profitable routes of the national carrier to other airlines for personal gains and ultimately caused losses to the airline.

As per open sky policy, PIA has given routes to some foreign airlines and they are operating good number of flights to and from Pakistan but PIA was not operating parallel. Those foreign airlines were also charging very low air fares from their passengers as compared to PIA and other airlines. When some airline charges fare even below the cost, it is called ‘Capacity Dumping’, said secretary aviation few months back. He said, “I have asked the legal advisers to look into the matter and to develop anti Dumping policy to counter these airlines”.