Pakistan airline sacks its German CEO over graft charges

Indo Asian News Service

Karachi, April 22 (IANS) The acting Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been sacked amid corruption charges, the media reported.

According to a PIA statement on Friday, Bernd Hildenbrand was ousted, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nayyar Hayat appointed as the new acting CEO of the national flag-carrier.

The German national, who on April 6 had gone on a 15-day leave, was barred from leaving Pakistan as his name is included in the Exit Control List, The News International reported.

Pakistan's investigation agency has launched a probe against Hildenbrand for leasing aircraft at inflated rates to a Sri Lankan airlines and for selling a PIA Airbus A310 aircraft to a German museum in violation of rules and regulations.

Hildenbrand has denied the charges.

"My conscience is clear. I haven't done anything wrong. There's no question of any corruption on my part. Whatever I did was to the best of my ability and in the best interest of PIA. All major transactions were made with the approval of Board of Directors and according to the rules," he said.

The PIA has lost millions of dollars due to the deal.

Hildenbrand, Procurement and Logistics Department Director Imran Akhtar Khan and Technical Consultant Helmut Bachhofner were earlier in April found guilty of causing a loss of over Rs 500 million to the PIA.