Moonis Elahi
Moonis Elahi, PML-Q Parliamentary Leader in Punjab Assembly, is at a loss to understand as for how could Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif engage a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft for his three-day Bosnia tour at the time when the national flag carrier is struggling to cater to the needs of Pakistani passengers and financial losses.
“With 15 planes grounded, 1000 0f passengers stranded & no money in #PIA kitty #NawazSharif takes a Boeing for 3 days, Picnic 2 Bosnia”, said Monis Elahi on Twitter.
PM Sharif on Tuesday left for a three-day visit to Bosnia.  The PM’s decision to hire PIA Boeing 777 aircraft (400-seats) not only has put the national flag carrier under additional financial burden but also forced it to readjust its flight schedule, thus causing lots of inconvenience to passengers.

 Interestingly, the PPP leaders have not yet chided the prime minister on this issue.  From PTI’s side, Imran Khan has declared the premier’s move as “shameful.”  Moonis Elahi further said as, “how could a government instead of offering a solution to bring the PIA out of the troubled waters put an extra burden on it”. 

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“Who is responsible for bringing down  the national flag carrier to the state it is in today… certainly the N-League is putting the last nail in the PIA’s coffin?” He added.  

 “The PIA’s Boeing will remain under the use of the prime minister for three days thus affecting the airline’s flight schedule but also cause millions of rupees of losses to the national exchequer.  Interestingly, the prime minister is engaging the PIA plane at a time when 10 ATRs, three A310 and six other aircraft (total 19) have already been grounded on one reason or another. ATRs grounded after the crash of one of the ATR on the way to Islamabad from Chitral on Dec 7. Pop star turned Islamic preacher Junaid Jamshed, and 46 other passengers lost their lives in the crash.

 

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 After the allocation of Boeing 777 aircraft for the prime minister’s visit, PIA will be left with less than 20 planes. Boeing 777 is a big aircraft which is usually operated for different destinations in European countries.

Prime Minister Sharif often uses PIA aircraft for his official visits, but at present, the national flag carrier is going through its worst crisis because of sudden exclusion of nine ATR planes from its fleet.

The prime minister’s spokesman Mussadaq Malik said the foreign office would bear the expenses of the aircraft the PM has engaged.