It is irony of fate that major State-run departments always remain in conundrums. News appear in press for one reason or the other tarnishing their image & tainting reputation. In 2017, it was reported that PIA A-310 aircraft, was reportedly taken to Germany by former PIA CEO Bernd Hildenbrand. The plane was illegally taken to Germany by the former PIA CEO and later on was sold to a museum.

Astonishingly, in March 2019 this A-310 aircraft was sold for Rs196.6 million in Germany. The plane which was anchored at the Leipzig airport of Germany and was sold in two parts. The two engines of the A-310, including other equipment, were sold to a private company which had offered the highest bid for the plane. According to a PIA spokesperson, the plane’s sale was in compliance with PPRA rules and was sold at a higher price in comparison to the local market. It is worth mentioning here that the parking charges of the plane stood at €0.2 million, which was settled down at €13,0000 against the structure of the plane with the museum, situated at the airport. Who sold it to a local museum? PIA officials had said that the national flag carrier still owned the plane and the Federal Investigation Agency was probing the matter. No information about the findings of FIA appeared in press henceforth.

While the previous acts are being brushed under the carpet, another press item is worth mentioning. According to an audit report, as many as 46 flights were operated from the Islamabad Airport in 2016-17 with no passengers boarding the airplanes. The report transpired that the national flag carrier suffered a loss of Rs180 million by operating 46 flights sans passengers. It said 36 flights on Hajj and Umrah routes were also operated without passengers. No official inquiry was made as to why the flights operated regardless, even as the administration knew that the flights were operating without passengers. How many bail-out packages government will give to such organizations where state of affairs is in total jeopardy. Is it not it food for thought for those who are at the helm of affairs?

IFTIKHAR MIRZA,

Islamabad.