Non-airworthy plane ‘sold for 47,500 Euros’

Non-airworthy plane ‘sold for 47,500 Euros’

ISLAMABAD - Amid discrepancies, the government Thursday said that the “missing” PIA plane was not worthy of flying and was sold for merely 47,500 Euros to a museum in Germany.

In a written reply to the National Assembly Secretariat, Minister In-charge of the Aviation Division said it was true that a non-flight worthy Airbus A310 bearing registration No. AP-BAQ was sold at 47500 Euros to Leipzig Museum in Germany with the approval of ex-CEO Bernd Hildenbrand.

It said that allegedly some discrepancies were found in application of PPRA rules 2004 in the sale of the aircraft and an internal enquiry carried out in PIA found ex-acting Chief Executive Officer Bernd Hildenbrand guilty of violations.

Later on Bernd Hildenbrand was terminated from PIA service. It is further stated that FIA is reportedly conducting an inquiry into the said matter and its findings are awaited, the reply said.

The issue of missing aeroplane of state airline was taken up by the Public Accounts Committee and it was told that the plane has been sold to a museum in Germany at peanuts.

In March, Senators were told that the flight-worthy airplane was sold to the museum in Leipzig even though permission had not been sought.

The PAC Chairman asked how come a plane of the national flag carrier reached Germany without any due process and directed National Accountability Bureau to investigate the matter.

He also directed to investigate who had ordered the name of former acting chief executive officer of the airline, Bernd Hildenbrand, to be removed from the Exit Control List.

Earlier, Hildenbrand’s name was placed on ECL after a number of corruption charges were levelled against him.

However, his name was removed from ECL and he managed to fly back to Germany.

In October, during a Senate Standing Committee meeting, Chairman, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told the committee that a Malta-based film production company had hired the plane against $210,000. Later the plane was directly flown from Malta to a museum in Germany.

The chairman also told the committee that the foreign adviser of the PIA who had finalised the deal was an employee of the same company which was purchasing the plane.