KARACHI - Shaheen Air International (SAI) has refuted claims made by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that the airline does not follow standard operating procedures.

In a statement, the airline management said that flight permissions are issued under the Civil Aviation Rules (CARs) and Air Navigation Order (ANO) on Flight Permissions. The tickets sold for flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Karachi from Faisalabad International Airport were in line with industry’s rules and regulations including specifically CARs and the ANO. Both routes were authorised as per CARs 352 (2) and (3), which automatically deem new flight routes approved if CAA does not respond to the request within 30 days. SAI had sent a request letter for these new routes to CAA on February 21, however no objections or reply was issued by the authority. Following this, the airline had then sent for flight approvals to Air Fleet Transport Management System on March 20.

No rule has been cited till date by the CAA that places a restriction on selling tickets in such a scenario. 

Commenting on CAA’S demand to apply for a new Regular Public Transport (RPT) Licence, the airline has stated that the Sindh High Court, in a ruling on April 29, has legally suspended this demand, since SAI had been granted the said licence 26 years ago upon its establishment.

The airline strongly denies CAA’s claims of any safety issue – not a single complaint has been communicated to SAI by the CAA with regards to safety. The SAI takes the safety and convenience of its passengers very seriously, and has repeatedly apologised to passengers for any inconvenience caused to them through CAA’s actions.

Furthermore, SAI’s management has stated that it is awaiting a final verdict by the SHC, which it is confident shall confirm SAI’s position as no legal basis has been put forward by CAA for their actions.