Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is again in the news for making a mockery of aviation safety rules. It has been reported that a senior pilot with PIA decided to take nap while handling the controls of the plane to the trainee pilot. The senior pilot went to the business class seating area and dozed off for around 2 hours. He did this soon after the plane take off. The plane had 305 passengers on board and it was on its way to London. One of the passengers saw the senior pilot sleeping peacefully in a business class cabin seat. He took a picture and uploaded it on social media. The photo went viral and has received strong criticism from various quarters. The passenger also filed a formal complaint with the airlines.
The senior pilot, Mr. Hashmi, is a former president of the highly influential Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Association (PALPA). Due to this, the airline was initially reluctant to take action against him. However, due to public pressure, he has now been taken off flying duty and an investigation has been ordered in the matter. Mr. Hashmi trains new pilots and gets Rs 100,000 per month for doing so. On this particular flight, there were two first officers in the plane, to whom Mr. Hashmi was supposed to provide training. However, it appears that getting sleep was more important to him than performing his duties. It may be recalled that PIA was in the news earlier also for allowing seven passengers to travel standing from Karachi to Madina.