x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pakistan inspects private airline planes after another near-miss

The checks were ordered on Sunday after a Shaheen Air flight with 178 people on board narrowly avoided disaster when its left rear tyre burst after its landing gear broke as it touched down at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport.

ISLAMABAD // Pakistani aviation authorities yesterday began an inspection of all passenger planes operated by private airlines after a near-miss in Karachi that came just two days after a fatal crash in Islamabad.

The checks were ordered on Sunday after a Shaheen Air flight with 178 people on board narrowly avoided disaster when its left rear tyre burst after its landing gear broke as it touched down at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport.

On Friday a Bhoja Air Boeing 737 came down in fields near Islamabad as it tried to land, killing all 127 people on board - the Pakistani capital's second major crash in less than two years.

"The Civil Aviation Authority launched a comprehensive inspection of airplanes being flown by private Pakistani airlines, from today," said Pervez George, a spokesman for the authority.

The authority has already received a plane from Bhoja Air for so-called "shakedown" checks by engineers, Mr George said.

He refused to give any timeline for completion of the process.

"We have asked all the private airlines to reschedule their domestic and international flights during the inspection so the passengers do not have to suffer," he added.

Inspection work will begin with Bhoja Air planes before moving on to Pakistan's other two private airlines Shaheen and Airblue.