PIA flight to bring Pakistanis back from Baghdad cancelled
A special PIA flight planned to bring the stranded Pakistanis from Iraq was cancelled on Tuesday after pilots’ refusal to take part in the operation.
These Pakistanis from different cities of Iraq had gathered in Baghdad for the flight No 9814. However, 161 pilots refused to operate the flight because of the pressure exerted by PALPA (Pakistan Air Line Pilots Association).
One of the reasons behind the differences between the PIA management and PALPA is the 20 percent pay cut for two months.
The PALPA had demanded in a letter to submit the amount to their fund but the management refused to accept the request.
But the safety has become an issue for the pilots amid the coronavirus pandemic, as it wrote a letter to Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar on Monday.
Earlier on April 5, it had advised the pilots not to operate any flight until further notice in order to express resentment over compromising safety and violation of the SOP to avoid the coronavirus threat during recently operated humanitarian flights by PIA.
In its letter, the PALPA threatened to withdraw all cooperation with the PIA management if the federal minister did not intervene to ensure safety measures for the flight crew.
The PALPA said the crew was being exposed to a very dangerous situation with far-reaching effects on the health of not only the pilots but also their families.
It noted that the management had been regularly informed about the failure to implement the SOPs set by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and PIA, adding that the CAA had become a silent spectator during the ongoing crisis.
The letter said the mismanagement and negligence of PIA had compromised the health and safety of passengers and flight crew.