PIA crew briefly detained, plane searched at Heathrow
The crew of flight PK-785, plying between Islamabad and London, was detained upon the plane’s arrival at Heathrow. The aircraft was searched by British authorities and the crew’s passports were also taken away.world Updated: May 16, 2017 15:28 IST
British authorities detained 14 crew members of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight and the aircraft was “thoroughly searched” over security threats after it landed at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Flight PK-785, plying between Islamabad and London, arrived at Heathrow on Monday afternoon. Upon landing, as passengers disembarked, the flight crew was detained and the aircraft was searched by the authorities, PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar said.
The crew was released after two hours of interrogation pertaining to security concerns, Geo News reported on Tuesday.
“We have not been informed as to why the crew was detained,” Tajwar said. The crew members’ passports were also taken away, and PIA said it is seeking to lodge a protest against the alleged misconduct by the police.
According to the British police, the crew was taken under custody over security concerns but was released later as nothing was found during the search operation.
The flight, meanwhile, was later cleared to take off from Heathrow Airport with replacement crew members.
Earlier this year, Pakistan’s state-run flag carrier was hit by reports that seven passengers were allowed to travel standing in the aisle on a Pakistan to Saudi Arabia flight. The pilot of another flight allegedly took a two-and-a-half hour nap in business class during an Islamabad to London flight, while the pilot of a flight plying between Tokyo and Beijing allowed a Chinese woman to remain in the cockpit for almost the entire duration of the journey.