PK-8303 crash raises question about the national airline and we need to talk about it!

In 2018, the PIA was ranked the world's 3rd Worst Airline in the 5th annual airline rankings published by AirHelp.


The recent Karachi crash has raised many questions on the credibility of Pakistan’s local air industry. The incident, in which 97 were killed is one of the most catastrophic disasters in the country’s aviation history.

The state-owned airline, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), has long been plagued with operational issues. The European Union banned PIA’s flights in 2007 because of concerns over safety.

The attention was drawn to the issues in July 2006, when 45 passengers died in a crash in the central city of Multan.

Critics maintained that falling standards in Pakistan’s booming airline industry were the primary cause.

Worst Airline

In 2018, the PIA was ranked the world’s 3rd Worst Airline in the 5th annual airline rankings published by AirHelp.

Moreover, the PIA secured 52nd position out of 56 major airlines in safety rankings between 1985-1999 and 53rd out of 56 during the years 2000-2014. 

Many of the concerns that have been expressed about the incident are related to the maintenance and safety of the state-owned aviation entity.

According to critics, the proliferation of routes and business of Pakistan’s air industry does not match international safety standards. Some aviation companies do not maintain their aircraft as regularly as they should.

Public Properties in the vicinity of airports


Yesterday’s air crash also raises a question on how it was possible to build a residential colony so near to the airport.

Throughout the civilized world, residential areas are built away from airports. However, it is only in Pakistan that housing colonies and buildings have surrounded areas of the airports.

There is no law in Pakistan on the minimum distance between airports and settlements.

The country has no special rules for granting no-objection certificates (NOCs) to private land developers to establish housing colonies in the surrounding areas of an airport.

Apart from crashes, with residential societies coming up near airports, birds start nestling around for leftover food lying around, which then becomes hazardous for flights.

Following is a timeline of major air crashes in Pakistan or involving Pakistani aircraft:

Date of the plane crashAirlinePeople diedRoute/ Crashing site
May 22, 2020


PIA Airbus A-32097Lahore to Karachi
December 7, 2016


PIA ATR 42-50047Chitral to Islamabad
November 3, 2015


Shaheen Air Boeing 737-400NilKarachi to Lahore
April 20, 2012


Bhoja Airlines1125Karachi to Islamabad
November 28, 2010


Georgian airline12Crashed in Karachi
November 5, 2010


charter JS Air21Crashed in Karachi
July 28, 2010


Airblue Airlines aircraft152Karachi to Islamabad
July 10, 2006


PIA Fokker41Multan to Lahore
February 24, 2003


chartered Cessna 402-B8Arabian sea near Karachi
February 19, 2003


Air Force Fokker F2717Crashed in the mountains near Kohat
August 17, 1988


US-made Hercules C-130 military aircraft32Crashed near Bahawalpur
October 23, 1986PIA Fokker F2713Coming to Peshawar
November 26, 1979PIA Boeing 707156Saudi Arab to Pakistan
December 8, 1972 PIA Fokker F2726Gilgit to Rawalpindi
August 6, 1970PIA Fokker F2730Attempting to take off from Islamabad
May 20, 1965PIA Boeing 707124Pakistan to Cairo
March 26, 1965


PIA22Peshawar to Chitral


What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.

  • This is the 4th major plane crash in Pakistan since 2010 and compared that to Canada; It only had three fatal crashes in their history(around 5 million flights). Our aviation safety record is horrendous, to say the least! The primary reason for that is the lack of accountability. Every single time, they tell us there will be an investigation, and they only do it, just for the sake of it. You never hear anyone getting sacked or someone resigning. What else do you expect from such a system? This will keep happening until we start holding people accountable. Hoping for a better response this time aroun

  • One thing we also need to account for is, if you have residential neighborhoods so close to the airport, there will be garbage and compost in these areas which attracts birds and increase the chances of bird strikes. That could be the next disaster waiting to happen.

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