A few months ago, it was reported that PIA sold an airworthy aircraft for a mere 53 lacs (€ 47,500) to a German airline. The matter put the PIA CEO, Mr. Bernd Hildenbrand, on the spotlight as it was purported that he gave that deal the go ahead.
The deal concerns the Airbus A310, along with six engines and four auxiliary power units, which were worth millions according to Saleem Mandviwalla, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance. Reports suggest that the plane alone was worth $3.51 million.
The plane’s tender was supposed to open up on 12th December 2016, however, the pilots were tasked to fly it to Malta and then to Germany without any valid reason.
This led to FIA’s investigation of the A-310’s sale and on the expensive lease of A-320 and A-330 planes. PIA directors and CEO were called multiple times to submit their side of the story. Bernd Hildenbrand’s name was put in the ECL (Exit Control List) and he was sent on forced leave a few days ago. A few weeks ago, the airline also witnessed a major reshuffle in its management hierarchy.
According to sources, investigations have revealed that PIA CEO Bernd Hildenbrand, Technical Consultant Bachhofner, Director Corporate Planning Amir, Director Procurement Air Commodore Imran Akhtar and former Director Flight Operations (DFO) Q Baloch were all aware of the suspicious sale of PIA’s A310 aircraft.
The German technical consultant, Bachhofner, has been dismissed and allowed to return to his home country. Director Corporate Planning Amir has been assigned as the new head of engineering at PIA while the Air Commodore Imran Akhtar, Director Procurement, has been asked to return to his parent organization. Q Baloch, however, has retired and is now in New York.
There is still no official word on the outcome of the investigation but considering the leaked information, a statement could be released to the public soon.