Two ex-PIA chairmen, former CEO booked for causing loss of Rs1.25 billion

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Islamabad, May 24 (PTI) Pakistan authorities on Monday launched a case of corruption against former bosses of the national flag carrier and also arrested a former director named in the case.

Cash-strapped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) reportedly suffered losses over Rs1 billion due to the alleged mismanagement by ex-chairmen Nasser Jaffer and Irfan Elahi, former acting CEO Bernd Hildenbrand and former director engineering Maqsood Ahmed.

The case was registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after probing the PIA's affairs under the directions of the Supreme Court, which had ordered a special audit of the airline in 2018.

“They (the accused) caused a loss of Rs1.25bn and made advance payments for upgradation of business class seats and entertainment system in the years 2014-16,” FIA Director Amir Farooqi told media.

The seats were never replaced and the system never installed despite the payments made by consent of the top officials.

The national airline of Pakistan has been running into billions of rupees of annual losses and so far all efforts to turnaround it have failed.

It is said that overstaffing and corruption are the chief reasons for the bad affairs of the airline which was once considered as premier airline in the region.

The latest case of corruption coincided with the first anniversary of the crash of a PIA plane on May 22 in Karachi which killed about 97 people onboard. PTI SH AMS