A senior pilot, who decided to take a nap during an Islamabad-London flight in April, putting the lives of 305 passengers aboard at risk, has been taken off duty by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Reports reveal that Amir Akhtar Hashmi allegedly slept for two-and-a-half-hours in business class cabin seat after handing over the aircraft to a trainee pilot soon after it took off.
His adventure soon made it to social media after photos of the pilot sleeping like a log were circulated by a passenger, who also filed a complaint against him with a senior crew member.
The Dawn quoted unnamed sources as saying that the PIA was initially reluctant to act against Mr Hashmi, former president of the highly influential Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Association (PALPA), “but later caved in to pressure from above”.
PIA spokesperson Danyal Gilani said that Mr Hashmi has been taken off flying duty and investigation is underway.
On April 26, Hashmi was in charge of operating the London-bound flight along with first officer Ali Hassan Yazdani. Another first officer, Mohammad Asad Ali, who was under training, was also in the cockpit, the Dawn said.
Mr Hashmi, an instructor, gets paid over Rs. 100,000 every month to train pilots. He was supposed to train Mr Ali during the flight. “However, instead of performing his duty, Mr Hashmi went for a quick lie-down.”