LAHORE

Air Indus, which is claimed to be a low fare airline, is out of operation for the last three months due to ‘safety concerns’.

A senior CAA officer, seeking anonymity, said that reason behind the suspension of Air Indus operation was to benefit some high fare airlines. Air Indus started operations on July 28, 2013 with four aircrafts but flights have been suspended by Civil Aviation Authority Pakistan from July 01, 2015. Sources said that as per National Aviation Policy an airline have to posses at least three aircrafts to continue its operation. But in the mid of 2014, during a terrorist attack at Karachi airport, two aircrafts of Air Indus were also totally damaged. An employee claimed that Air Indus was Pakistan’s first private airline to connect Karachi with the federal capital, all provincial capitals and Faisalabad, Multan and Bahawalpur with regular flights.

Airline’s license was suspended by CAA Pakistan on 1 July 2015 due to safety concerns and on being a small-sized private airline.

Sources privy to the development said that owner of the airline has also contacted court to seek justice. Owner Abdul Wahab was of the view that his planes were parked in hanger of Karachi airport when militants attacked and it was responsibility of CAA to provide security. After suspension of airline’s license aircraft manufacturing company was also not ready to further lease aircrafts and CAA was not ready to allow operation due to under size fleet.

Sources claimed that owner of the airline has pledged to add two more aircrafts within only two months after which airline should be allowed to operate but CAA management was not willing to restore its license. An airline employee, on condition of not to be named, said, “More than 250 employees are not being paid salaries for the last three months i.e. since the suspension of airline operation”. He said that it is airline with lowest fare in the market and after suspension of its operation other airlines have increased their fares up to alarming level on domestic routes.