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PIA grounds five planes for lack of spare parts

Updated March 20, 2014

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— File photo
— File photo

ISLAMABAD: Five aircraft of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) fleet have been grounded because of the breakdown of supply chain of spare parts, according to inside sources.

Of the five aircraft, two are Boeing-777s which are considered the main source of revenue generation. They were grounded two weeks ago and since then the national flag carrier has been suffering a daily loss of over Rs70 million to Rs80m.

The PIA has a total of nine Boeing-777s and one Boeing-777 earns Rs 30m to Rs 40m per day.

According to a letter sent to the PIA chairman by Director of Flight Operations Capt Qasim Hayyat, two Boeing-777s and one each Boeing-747, Boeing-737 and A-310 had been grounded because of non-availability of spare parts.

The letter said that with the shortage of five aircraft the schedule was being maintained with difficulty and delays were causing inconvenience to passengers and tarnishing the reputation of the PIA.

“Situation has reached such a stage that soon the PIA shall have to curtail its operations to a great extent,” the letter said, adding that flights to India, Bangladesh and Nepal might be cancelled.

Capt Hayyat told Dawn that the unexpected grounding of two Boeing-777s had worsened the situation.

But, he added, things were improving and it was hoped that the flight schedule would stabilise soon.

PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar said it had been decided by the board of directors that spare parts would be purchased directly from manufacturing companies and not from their distributors, adding that sometimes the companies delayed delivery of parts.

He, however, said that the aircraft had not been grounded but their operation had been suspended because of routine check-up.