ISLAMABAD: The issue of a ‘missing’ PIA plane was raised in the Senate on Tuesday with Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad claiming that the former acting chief executive officer (CEO) of the airline, Bernd Hildenbrand from Germany, had taken the plane home while leaving Pakistan.

Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of the MQM raised the issue in the House saying he had learnt that a Boeing plane of the national flag carrier had gone missing.

Confirming that the plane had gone missing, the minister said: “We have also formed a committee to probe the matter but it has not found any clue so far.”

When contacted, PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar told Dawn it was not a Boeing plane rather Airbus-A-310. “It’s not missing. It’s in Germany,” he remarked.

Mr Tajwar said the plane had been chartered by a British company for picturising a movie in Malta following which the aircraft flew to Germany. He said the plane had already completed its flying hours and was no longer airworthy. “It’s a 30-year-old aircraft and had already been grounded.”

He said heavy expenses were to be incurred on bringing the plane back to Pakistan and, therefore, tenders were floated to dispose it of what can well be termed a scrap.

In reply to a question, he said the FIA had conducted an inquiry into the matter but the findings had not been shared with the PIA.

The name of the former acting CEO had been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) after a number of charges of corruption against him, including one about selling a PIA’s plane to a museum in Germany.

He had initially gone on leave and was later removed from the post. Apparently, his name was struck off the ECL as he is believed to be in Germany right now.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2017

Opinion

Editorial

Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...
Disquiet on the western front
Updated 07 Dec, 2022

Disquiet on the western front

IT is very difficult for Pakistan to be delinked from Afghanistan, because of reasons of geography and history.
Fuel from Russia
07 Dec, 2022

Fuel from Russia

THE apparent headway made with Russia for the purchase of its crude oil, petrol and diesel at discounted prices is a...
More women SHOs
07 Dec, 2022

More women SHOs

IT is encouraging to see more employment avenues opening up for women in Pakistan, with an increasing number of...