PIA questioned for selling aircraft to German museum

Indo Asian News Service

Islamabad, March 2 (IANS) A parliamentary committee in Pakistan has expressed apprehensions about selling a flight-worthy Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft to a German museum, and asked the airline to submit a report on the matter.

Senators who met to discuss the performance of the national flag carrier described the deal to sell an Airbus A-310 to the museum as suspect, Dawn reported on Thursday.

The meeting began on a sour note, when the Senate committee noted the absence of senior PIA officials at the meeting. The chairman of the Senate Committee on Performance of PIA, PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan, said: "We need answers on this irregular deal. We will move a privilege motion if the top PIA officials are absent at the next meeting."

The committee members observed that the aircraft has already landed with a museum in Leipzig, Germany, and senators said permission was not sought to sell the flight-worthy airplane, no agreements were signed and the PIA did not receive any advance payment for the sale of the A-310.

"Everything is wrong with this arrangement, especially when such a deal has not been sanctioned," Khan added. He said the PIA officials present at the meeting had failed to give satisfactory answers on the deal.

The museum in question expressed interest in acquiring the A-310 last year, to induct it among its collection of international airlines' aircraft. The same airplane was also flown to Malta, where it was hired for a scene in a movie.

Officials from the PIA responded that the aircraft was sold to the museum on the directions of the senior management for a little over $5 million.

Describing such deals as "unheard of", Khan directed the PIA officials present for a report on the details of the arrangements.