The administration of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to ground all ATRs. The decision came after huge pressure that has been growing since crash of PK-661 near Havelian. PIA has 10 propeller-driven ATR planes left in its fleet.
Just days after PK-661 crash, another ATR plane flying from Multan to Karachi was reportedly facing technical difficulties. As a result, the passangers were sent to Karachi in another PIA aircraft.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan will hold shakedown tests of PIA’s remaining fleet of ATRs. Meanwhile, representatives of the ATR Aircraft company are expected to join Pakistani investigators in examining the cause of PK-661 crash.
The decision will affect PIA’s operation of flights to Gilgit, Skardu, Chitral and Quetta. PIA is the only company that operates commercial flights to these regions except Quetta.
It is being expected that PIA will join hands with Pakistan Army to operate C-130 planes till ATRs are cleared to operate again.