ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s national carrier has said it would investigate allegations that a plane flew from Karachi to Saudi Arabia carrying seven extra passengers standing, however, it denied the passengers stood in the aisles for the three-hour long journey.
Seven passengers aboard the PIA flight PK-743 (Karachi-Madina) on Jan 20 were forced to stand throughout the over three-hour flight after the airline boarded excess passengers in a serious breach of air safety regulations, the Dawn reported.
According to the reports, the Boeing 777 aircraft (Reg No: AP BID) has a seating capacity of 409, including jump seats, while flight PK-743 carried 416 passengers from Karachi to Madina.
The newspaper claimed the mistake only happen when passengers were issued with hand-written boarding passes rather than computer-generated ones.
Anwer Adil, who captained the flight, is quoted as saying he was not informed about the extra passengers until the plane was already in the air.
If true, the mishap would represent a serious breach of safety regulations. Passengers are required to be seated and have their seatbelts fastened during take-off and landing.
The newspaper quoted sources as saying that in case of an emergency, passengers without seats would not have access to oxygen masks and could block any emergency evacuation.