Airline Sacrifices a Goat Before Bringing Turboprops Back Into Service

Long-time readers may remember Pakistani Correspondent or ‘P.C.’, my work colleague from Pakistan who signed up for an American Express Platinum card when there was a 100,000 point signup bonus. She redeemed her very first award ticket four years ago, transferring 120,000 miles to Delta, for a business class ticket to Lahore for the holidays.

She was excited to fly business class for the first time, but mostly she was thrilled not to be flying Pakistan International Airlines. I’ve called PIA the world’s worst airline. If you think I’m exaggerating, just read this post.

Boeing 777 on Approach to New York JFK in 2014, Copyright zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo

Two weeks ago they suffered a crash of an ATR 42 turboprop. After the incident they grounded their ATR fleet, and subbed in C-130 military cargo planes flying passengers on benches because those planes are able to operate at some of the country’s more challenging airports.

Before bringing the ATRs back into service, PIA employees sacrificed a goat next to a plane at the Islamabad International Airport. The digital media editor for Pakistan television ARY News tweets it:

The airline insists this was a spontaneous act by employees and not an officially sanctioned safety procedure.

The sacrifice was confirmed by PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani, who said it was a “gesture of gratitude” by some employees before the resumption of flights of the airline’s ATR fleet. It was not sanctioned by management, Mr Gilani said.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What is wrong with PIA employees sacrificing a goat to assure flight safety? Afterall, Delta goes through a similar sacrificial ritual by throwing loyal Skymiles members under the bus to assure higher profits.

  2. whether you like it or not, people in other countries have their culture and custom. it’s their rights.

  3. Wow seriously that is graphic. You should have a warning.

    Anyway I think anyone that can cut an animals throat won’t hesitate to cut a humans throat if the circumstances demanded it. I wonder if it is unislamic to try to make people vegeterian.

  4. Its cultural… I don’t see a big deal. I don’t expect people in Pakistan will look too well on the concept of popping champagne on a big accomplishment.

  5. The most troubling part is how did the weapon get through to the tarmac? Are there any TSA type procedures at that airport?

  6. @ DJ “whether you like it or not, people in other countries have their culture and custom. it’s their rights.” Their rights. That is funny. Blasphemy is punishable by death there. This is a country where religious minorities and women are consistently victimized. There is torture and people being disappeared if not civilians being out right killed. Some people are prevented from practicing their religion openly under threat of criminal prosecution. So don’t come here and post your nonsense about their culture and rights. They would most likely leave you in a ditch somewhere if you went to their country and tried to claim people there have rights and everyone should be respected.

  7. Sad that PIA airline is so bad when the PIA airport (Peoria, IL) is an absolutely outstanding regional airport! No comparison!! #FlyPIA

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