After one of its engines caught fire, the Dubai-bound Pakistan International Airlines passenger flight, PK213, made an emergency landing at Karachi Airport. The PIA spokesman Mashoor Tajwar informed media that all passengers of the flight were unharmed and safe while experts and engineers initiated an inspection of the plane to determine what triggered the engine to catch fire. Witnesses from Korangi area reported how they saw one of the wings aflame while flying dangerously low. This incident of malfunctioning on part of PIA is nothing new; an embarrassing record entails how the flag-carrier has rapidly become over the past few decades.

PIA’s rather worrisome performance over the past few years spells a bigger problem for the aviation industry in Pakistan that could fare a lot better without PIA hogging its space – figuratively and literally. The aviation industry in Pakistan possesses tremendous potential; an increasing number of passengers continue to show a tendency to opt for local airlines but with PIA’s monopoly over flights, private airlines continue to face challenges. A market so gigantic and dynamic does indeed deserve a better and more reliable aviation service than the one that not only flies shaky but could prove to be a danger to passengers’ lives. The PK213 landing was miraculous in itself.

As the federal government decides to partly privatize PIA by putting up 26% of the national flag carrier’s shares up for sale, one can hope for a positive change in the airline’s performance and service. The ailing enterprises of PIA can only alter for better if immediately hauled through an open and transparent privatization of its share that will address its need for reforming and restructuring. It would be a shame for the airline to disappoint the public as well as a great danger to lives if PIA’s mismanagement goes on further unchecked.