Mar 19, 2017

PIA CEO in hot water over Sri Lankan A330 aircraft deal

In a dramatic turn of events of PIA- Sri Lankan Airlines A330 aircraft deal concluded recently, Pakistani authorities banned the German CEO of the the state-owned national airline from leaving the country as the government begins an investigation into a plane-lease contract.

Bernd Hildenbrand, the German head of Pakistan International Airlines Corp. (PIA), has been put on a so-called exit control list (ECL) and the nation’s anti-graft Federal Investigation Agency has been directed to probe the national carrier’s wet lease of A 330 Aircraft allegedly tainted with corruption and irregularities, Pakistan media reported. .

The order comes as the Pakistan government plans to turnaround the carrier which is making heavy losses by adding planes and increasing flights on profitable routes.

Hildenbrand has had a turbulent reign dealing with a plane crash in December that killed 48 people on board and labour unrest after the government attempted to sell a stake in the airline.

In the wake of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency’s probe into the aircraft deal and subsequent action of barring the PIA CEO from leaving the country, international media questioned The Sri Lankan Airlines stance of the deal where its CEO Suren Ratwatte publically boasted the outcome of the deal as successful.

Sri Lanka’s joint opposition is now planning to demand the Sri Lankan Airlines chairman and CEO to divulge details of the deal to protect the good image of Sri Lanka.