PIA suspends staff over delay in take-off

Updated September 16, 2014


KARACHI:Two employees of national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have been suspended over the delayed take-off of an Islamabad-bound plane that pushed angry passengers to prevent two lawmakers from boarding.

PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar confirmed to Dawn that shift manager Nadeem Abro and terminal manager Shehzad have been suspended due to the delayed take-off of PK-370.

“After the initial delay which was due to technical reasons, the plane was delayed for a further 15 to 20 minutes,” Tajwar said. “They have been suspended for this unnecessary delay.”

Read more: Rehman Malik booed off plane

PIA's flight PK-370 was scheduled to depart from Karachi's Jinnah International Airport at 7PM but passengers say it was delayed by more than two and a half hours. Irate passengers hurled abuse at Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Senator Rehman Malik and PML-N MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar Wakwani for the delay, which they said was an example of 'VIP culture' that allows influential people to call in favours.

Malik has denied that the delay had to do with him, and said that take-off was delayed due to a technical fault. PIA confirmed that the delay was due to a technical fault, but later said that there was a "further unnecessary delay" that resulted in action against PIA staff.

The incident — which was filmed and uploaded to video-sharing site Dailymotion — has created a storm on social media, with users applauding the passengers of PK-370 for successfully barring the lawmakers from boarding the aircraft.

The story on Twitter

Many thought the 'revolution' was nigh

While others took a more balanced view

With the occasional quip...

A few felt Rehman Malik was being targeted unfairly

And the real problem was the irate passengers

Many others pointed out that this is all too common

And there are bigger issues worth talking about

In all...