It is feared that flight operations of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to various foreign destinations may get disrupted due to continued negligence of the national carrier towards necessary flight requirements. It has been recently reported that PIA’s safety ratings have touched a critical level. Amid low bookings, financial losses and corruption, this news is another indicator that the national flag carrier needs drastic reforms.
The Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft (SAFA) program was introduced by the European Civil Aviation Conference in 1996. Under the program, a third country aircraft may be inspected within European Union member states. Moreover, if inspection detects non-compliance with the applicable requirements and recommends that the non-compliance could endanger the safety of passengers/public, then the aircraft may be grounded until the problems identified are resolved.
“At a time when the national airline is already going through a crisis; along with low profitability, these kinds of issues will further destroy its image and could result in practical problems for the airline,” said an official.
The recent inspections show that PIA’s safety rankings have increased to a critical level and if the problems are not addressed, then the time is not far when PIA’s flight operations to various profitable foreign destinations would come to a halt.
“All pilots are, therefore, advised to pay close attention to personal and on-board document validity on all flights. In addition, ‘no smoking’ policy must be adhered to at all times,” stated an internal circular.
Moreover, the airline’s management has given a warning that personal lapses leading to SAFA findings will be dealt with stern actions. “Your cooperation and professionalism in this regard shall help our airline to arrest the rising SAFA index,” the management appealed.
Also, the response of the airline to shift the blame of the lapses on the employees can further damage the reputation of the airline, an official remarked.
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