Pakistani airline admits putting extra passengers on international flight
A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) passenger plane prepares to take off from the Benazir International airport. Photograph: (Reuters)
Pakistan International Airlines admitted it had overloaded one of its flights to Saudi Arabia with seven additional passengers.
This comes a day after Dawn reported that the cash-strapped national carrier had asked seven passengers to stand in the aisle during the three-hour flight from Karachi, Pakistan, to Medina in Saudi Arabia on January 20.
The national carrier had initially dismissed the report as "false" but had promised to hold an internal probe.
After finding that the flight had 416 passengers instead of the stipulated 409, PIA told the media that it was in the wrong.
A pilot and two other crew members were being disciplined, airline spokesperson Danyal Gillani said.
"Strict action would be taken against anyone found at fault. PIA is committed to ensure the safety of the passengers and cannot allow any incident to happen which compromises safety," he said.
PIA has been battling concerns about flight safety since a domestic flight crashed in the mountainous Chitral region in December, killing all 47 people on board.
(WION with inputs from Reuters)