KARACHI: Narrowly escaping an accident after a bird strike, a Pakistan International Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing as soon as it took off from the Karachi airport on Wednesday.

With 162 passengers on board, the pilot of the Islamabad-bound PK-368 managed to land the aircraft safely after the bird hit one of the engines of the aircraft.

PIA engineers inspected the plane and decided to ground it temporarily for a detailed assessment.

Later, alternative arrangements were made to take the passengers towards their destination, a PIA spokesperson said, adding that the bird hit the right engine of the aircraft.

The damage by the bird hit to the aircraft was not clear immediately.

The spokesman added that the bird strike incidents took place due to overcrowding, pollution and lack of an effective bird control system around airports.

It may be noted that it is the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure smooth flow of air traffic and take measures to scare off birds.

15 top travel agents

PIA chief executive officer retired Air Martial Arshad Malik has said that the national flag carrier is in process to induct latest technology fuel-efficient aircraft in its fleet.

He said this while speaking at a ceremony held at the PIA head office to appreciate and commend the airline’s top performing travel partners.

Air Martial Malik said that with the availability and access to Covid-19 vaccine and maintaining precautionary measures, it was expected that the aviation industry would get back its momentum.

The PIA chief said that with determination, drive, optimistic approach and better business model and strategies, the management would try its best for the betterment of the airline. “PIA travel partners are doing a good job and can help further improve its sales.”

He said the increase in sales was possible with the cooperation of the travel business partners.

He said that while the airline was commencing its flight operations to international destinations based on permissions granted by countries amid Covid-19 pandemic, increasing flights on better performing routes and also adding destinations such as Baku, Tashkent and Bishkek were planned, the support of PIA travel partners was necessary to further help promote domestic tourism as well. He said that special emphasis had been made on optimum utilisation of aircraft and route economics. Chief commercial officer Ali Tahir Qasim congratulated the best performing travel agents of the Karachi region.

Later, certificates were given to 15 top performing travel agents.

The ceremony was attended by senior officials of the airline as well as prominent personalities of the travel and tourism industry.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2021

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