Birds also contribute to PIA’s losses in millions: Here’s how

The collapse of Pakistan International Airlines can be attributed to a variety of factors, ranging from operational inefficiencies to poor service, but birds also play a role.

Bird strikes contribute a small portion to the national carrier’s monthly losses because a plane damaged by such an incident requires millions of dollars to repair.

The severity of the crisis can be gauged by the fact that 29 bird strikes were reported in the last 5 months at domestic airports alone, and ten bird strikes have been reported so far in May.

‘Many of the incidents occurred at the airports in Karachi and Lahore,’ said the sources.

Seven of the carrier’s planes were damaged in the strikes. The most recent incident involved Flight PK-310, in which an Airbus-320 flying from Karachi to Quetta was hit by a bird shortly after takeoff; the aircraft was later shifted to the hangar, while the passengers were shifted to the lounge and later flew off via an alternate flight.

According to official statistics released by the national airline, 10 bird strike incidents have been reported at airports in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Quetta, Peshawar, Gilgit, and Multan in the current month.

In the current year, 16 birdstrike incidents have been reported at Karachi and Lahore airports alone, while the carrier’s planes have also been damaged due to birds in Jeddah and Bahrain. 22 of the 29 incidents this year involved no plane damage.

The bird strikes occurred during the approach and landing processes, and PIA is bearing heavy losses as the affected planes are temporarily grounded, according to the Express Tribune.

Concerning the solution, a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson stated that the authority has issued a tender for installing modern bird repellent systems at the country’s major airports, with the hope that the installation phase of this system will be completed soon.

The spokesperson stated that bird shooters are regularly deployed during aerial operations at takeoff and landing points to drive away the birds.

The main reason for the birds’ presence is garbage sites near airports, which pose a threat to planes taking off and landing despite awareness campaigns launched among residents of neighbourhoods near airports.

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