I’ve frequently argued that Pakistan International Airlines is the worst airline in the world. But what’s finally got the government’s attention isn’t sacrificing a goat for safety or flying with more passengers than seats (and making customers stand for 1700 miles).
Boeing 777 on Approach to New York JFK in 2014, Copyright zhukovsky / 123RF Stock Photo
Malfeasance of Pakistan International Airlines staff is de rigueur. As I’ve noted, “When PIA employees are forced to overnight passengers at a hotel at the airline’s expense, the employees earn kickbacks from those hotels.”
So it shouldn’t be surprising that a senior PIA pilot “decided to take a nap” in business class for 2.5 hours on an Islamabad – London Heathrow flight.
The pilot, a former President of the airline’s pilots union, turned over the Boeing 777’s controls “to a trainee pilot.”
I had three reactions to this story.
- Crew rest is normal for long haul flights. It’s not uncommon for airlines to use premium cabin seats for pilots to satisfy their rest requirements.
- However assuming the pilot hasn’t operated other flights immediately prior to this one, they aren’t going to require rest during a flight blocked at just 8 hours 30 minutes.
- In this case it turns out that the pilot who was sleeping “was supposed to train” the junior first officer whom he left in the cockpit. That seems like a problem.
On April 26, Hashmi was in charge of operating the London-bound flight along with first officer Ali Hassan Yazdani. Another first officer, Mohammad Asad Ali, who was under training, was also in the cockpit, the Dawn said.
Mr Hashmi, an instructor, gets paid over Rs. 100,000 every month to train pilots. He was supposed to train Mr Ali during the flight. “However, instead of performing his duty, Mr Hashmi went for a quick lie-down.”
In fact, total flight time was just 8 hours 5 minutes.
The pilot has been taken off of flying duty pending an investigation.
(HT: Billy O.)