Pakistan International Airlines on Sunday said it has initiated a probe against a senior pilot who slept during an international flight handing over the aircraft to a trainee pilot.
According to reports, a senior PIA pilot was found sleeping in the passenger compartment soon after flight PK-785 took off from Islamabad for London. The pilot reportedly took a two-and-a-half-hour nap while an under-training pilot handled the aircraft.
PIA at first reportedly showed reluctance in taking any step against the influential Captain Amir Hashmi, a former president of Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Association (PALPA), until the issue was taken up by high-ups in the Aviation Division.
Airline sources told The Express Tribune that on April 26 Hasmi, who was in-charge of operating the London-bound PK-785— carrying over 300 passengers on board, had left the cockpit in control of the under-training first officer Ali Hassan Yazdani for a nap in the business class cabin.
When contacted, the airlines spokesperson Daniyal Gilani confirmed that the said pilot has been taken off flight duty and an investigation into the happening is being conducted by the PIA. He, however, refused to give out any further details in the matter.
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The development has surfaced at a time when a top PIA official, facing serious allegations of corruption, left the country on Saturday after he was given a special exemption by the Interior Ministry to fly abroad for a month even though his name is still on the country’s no-fly list. Bernd Hildenbrand, the suspended CEO of the national flag carrier is under investigation on charges of corruption amounting to billions of rupees. The Federal Investigation Agency is probing the corruption charges against him.