PPPP demands inquiry into planes replacement
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians has demanded an inquiry into the planned replacement of PIA’s Fokker fleet with SAAB 2000 aircraft because the latter’s aircraft manufacturing company has stopped producing aircraft for the last three years and is making automobiles and defence aviation accessories.
“Yet another scandal like that of the purchase of Boeing 777 is brewing and calls for immediate action,” said Taj Haider central secretary information of the Party in a statement issued on Tuesday. According to documents received by the party, the high-tech, fully computerised SAAB 2000 aircraft were not optimally suited for Pakistani airports that lacked compatible advanced technological gears, he said. He said that the airports currently used by Fokker were not equipped with instrumentation to justify the huge investment in the new aircraft.
He said that at the time of the Boeing decision it was also claimed that the 777 aircraft was selected to turn PIA into a top class airline ignoring equally efficient planes that could have saved over $100 million. Now the PIA management is going for planes whose production stopped years ago and the factory manufacturing them has closed down, it said. This means that eventually PIA will end up with aircraft whose spares are either not available or very costly, he said. According to aviation experts only 56 units have ever been made and a mere 24 are still flying, none in this region.