Minimum fleet requirement: November 15 deadline for shaheen to comply
KARACHI (October 19 2005): The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has fixed November 15 as deadline for shaheen Air International (SAI) to meet minimum fleet requirement, as envisaged under National Aviation Policy (NAP) 2000.
Sources in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) told Business Recorder here on Tuesday that it was regrettable that SAI has been operating with only one aircraft for the last three months, instead of three aircraft, which is a mandatory requirement. This was also in clear violation of National Aviation Policy, which requires private airlines to acquire a fleet of at least three aircraft, with reasonable redundancy, to ensure passengers' convenience they added.
Sources said that SAI has been served with final notice and if it failed to make all three aircraft serviceable and operational by November 15, its licence might be cancelled. The CAA, which is the watch dog of civil aviation activities and has been mandated to ensure safe and secure flying, is also unhappy about the inability of SAI to clear its outstanding dues pertaining to landing and housing charges.
It owes over Rs 30 million to CAA for a long time. The private carrier is also not paying salaries on regular basis to its staff including cockpit and cabin crew and ground staff. The performance of the airline is also considered to be very poor.
Sources recalled that on August 30, SAI was reminded by CAA of the fleet requirement for operation. It was required to ensure minimum fleet size latest by September 15, failing which the airline was told that the regulatory Authority would be constrained to close/suspend SAI's operations. It was also required to ensure that while seeking clearance for scheduled flights with three aircraft, a redundancy factor must be ensured to meet the schedule without any delays/cancellations.
In order to facilitate SAI to update its fleet and set its house in order, two months extension has been given for meeting the required obligations. November 15, 2005, is the deadline and, in case the airline failed to meet the minimum laid down requirements, action may follow in the form of grounding the airline.
Copyright Brecorder News, 2005
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