Passenger safety controversy; Shaheen airline denies report

Shaheen Airlines follows PIA in adequate safety measures

Does a human’s life have any value? Not according to Pakistan’s aviation companies as they’ll rather put people’s lives in danger or even let them die if that means they can keep flying their aircraft.

You’re assuming I’m talking about PIA and its worse than ever condition. Sorry to disappoint you folks, but this time Shaheen Airlines has taken the fancy of jeopardizing the lives of its customers.

On 24th January Geo News reported that Shaheen Airlines risked the lives of its passengers by letting the aircraft with the faulty engine fly along with passengers. Airbus A-330 with a capacity of 300 was on a flight from Islamabad to Manchester.

Talk about efficiency of the airline, on January 3rd the captain reported engine malfunction on a flight from Islamabad to Manchester, where it later turned out that the engine was held together by tying it with metallic wires and a chain. After being grounded for five days, the plane on January 8 took off on a ferry flight to Lahore.

The Express Tribune reported that the flight back from Manchester made an emergency landing at Lahore Airport after one of its engines caught fire. It was revealed that the brave pilot operated the flight on a single engine as he was cautioned about the suspended engine’s fuel filter. The aircraft stationed since its arrival and according to sources confided to Geo to have metal splinters inside the room indicating that some parts of the engine were torn.

It was further revealed that this aircraft conducted several flights in the same condition and risked the lives of tens of hundreds of passengers. Civil Aviation Authority, who prefers only to take action when the problem is known to the general public took action yesterday and has barred the airline from flying the faulty plane and has sought an explanation from Shaheen Airlines.

These types of incidents are not new for the airline as; Shaheen Air flight bound for Karachi was delayed in last December due to technical problems during its takeoff. In November 2016, a flight to Lahore carrying 121 passengers and crew members made an emergency landing as the aircraft skidded off the runway. In last June, the Shaheen aircraft’s tires burst as the pilot applied emergency brakes, before takeoff from Lahore to Dubai flight

These are just a few recent incidents involving Shaheen airlines. The most shocking thing is after everything that these corporations do, they’re still allowed to operate in the sky. Last year PIA’s ATR-42 met an untimely fate without leaving any survivors. There is a long list of mishaps and technical problems in the PIA’s name and nothing prominent has been done by the CAA.

There is hardly any investigations into such incidents and if somehow there are some inquiries made by CAA, they never bear any results. Maybe it’s about time that they value the life of a human being and put in place effective measures to ensure passenger safety.

Update: The above news was based on the report by Geo News on 24th January where it claimed that Shaheen Airline risked the lives of its passengers by operating faulty plane whose engine was tied up using metallic wires and chain. On 25th January Geo followed up on their story reporting that CAA has barred Shaheen from using the defective plane. Shaheen Airlines has responded to these allegations by issuing the following statement:

Shaheen Air completely rejects baseless and false reports which claimed that the airline used flimsy wires and chains to tie together engine components of its Airbus A330 on Shaheen Air flight NL 901. The method used is an official Airbus approved method for the prevention of unwanted movement of fasteners, connectors, unions or parts that turn. The specific images shown, are an application of the Airbus approved wirelocking method in the manufacturer’s Approved Maintenance Manual.

The airline is deeply saddened by severe misrepresentation engaged in by a media house without seeking so much as a clarification or verifying from a technical person the correctness of their news before publishing maliciously for immediate notoriety. The airline intends to exercise its legal and other rights in seeking redress against the network including for any losses such false news bring.

The airline regrets such sensationalizing false news which creates a negative and fearful environment for the travelling Pakistani public, the aviation industry of Pakistan and for the perception of Pakistan as a whole.

Shaheen Air also reiterated that it keeps passenger safety as its absolute first priority. The airline maintains a fleet of 24 aircraft currently and has an excellent airworthiness record. The management of Shaheen Air repeated that as the only Pakistani airline that has by the grace of Allah never had a single fatality in 24 years of operations, it makes no compromise on safety.

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