RAWALPINDI: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Islamabad to Toronto was diverted back to Karachi after a technical fault was noticed by the captain while flying over Russia, on Friday.

The Boeing 777 with 268 passengers onboard was scheduled to take off from Islamabad Inter­national Airport at 2:15pm on Friday, but departed one hour late, according to flight inquiry.

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez Khan said that PIA flight PK-781 was diverted back to Karachi after it developed a technical fault. When it chose to turn around, the plane had been in the air for four hours and was flying over Russia.

He said that the captain noticed a technical problem and then decided to divert the flight back to Karachi, landing after 1am on Saturday.

He claimed that the technical problem with the aircraft was minor, but the captain preferred to return back, rather than to continue the long flight over the Atlantic.

Sources said that the aircraft, bearing registration number AP-BGZ, had previously reported the same fault.

The decision to bring the aircraft back to Karachi was made due to better arrangements at the engineering base and availability of spare parts, he said.

Arrangements to receive the flight at Jinnah International Airport Karachi were said to be in place and the passengers would be accommodated at the airport hotel.

The flight is now scheduled to depart for Toronto at 1pm today (Saturday).

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2024

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