It seems that the end of 2016 will mark the darkest times in the history of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). After a few appalling incidents earlier, today’s event definitely takes the cake for the most ridiculous news of 2016.
A PIA flight scheduled from Lahore to Karachi ended up landing in Muscat, Oman in the most bizarre fashion. PIA flight PK307, a Boeing 777-340 (ER) Jet was bound to land in Karachi after taking off from Lahore. It seems that the PIA’s job from taking passengers from one place to another has changed into cross-country rides for the same amount.
Passengers of the plane were shocked in what had happened. Expected to land in their desired destination, Karachi, the plane was taken to Muscat, Oman, a far and distant country in the Middle East. Pk307 was scheduled to leave Lahore at 9:00 PM but instead took off in the early hours today, taking the passengers to Muscat.
FlightRadar-24 data shows that the airline descended to 10k feet, moved around a few times and then continued to fly to Karachi, finally landing in Muscat, Oman.
The only prominent, yet sad reason for PIA’s lackluster performance and management for Pk307 is that Ex-President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari is set to arrive at the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, today. The security arrangements and conditions for the Ex-President’s arrival might be the reason behind the diversion of PK307 to Muscat — However, it makes no sense to not have the passengers wait at the airport, even for a day, but take them to another country altogether.
This girl whose father was on the plane tweeted about the incident
It seems that the PIA wants to continue making a joke out of itself, after its tragically sad performance in 2016. First of, the Islamabad-bound ATR plane from Chitral crashed, taking 48 lives including prominent figures Junaid Jamshed and DCO of Chitral, Mr. Warraich. Later on, black goats were being sacrificed before every ATR plane take off from Chitral, making the country’s international airline an obsolete and unfunny joke.
With the current incident, it seems that the PIA is not ready to perform its tasks responsibly as the country’s ‘national’ airline carrier. Privatization of the PIA was an idea that should have gone through and taken the airline out of the dungeon of mediocrity, underproduction, and nonperformance.
The lost trust between the general public and the national carrier will be a void difficult to fulfill. With new airlines like SereneAir entering the scene, PIA will not only lose honor but also loyal customers who have traveled with the airline for decades.
Update: Latest update from the CAA confirms that the flight was redirected due to the halt in flight operations at Jinnah International Airport because of the arrival of ex-president Asif Ali Zardari. Although a flight redirected to Muscat, out of Pakistan doesn’t make sense, clearly, PIA thought it was the next best option to go for.