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Pakistan airline chief resigns

PIA chief Tariq Ali resigned following an EU safety ban imposed on most of its ageing fleet.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Karachi
UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2007 12:46 PM IST

The chairman of Pakistan's national airline has resigned, officials said on Tuesday, following a European Union safety ban imposed on most of its ageing fleet.

Tariq Kirmani, the chief of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), had also been under pressure due to the state-owned carrier's mounting losses.

"Pakistan International Airlines chairman Tariq Kirmani has resigned and so far there is no replacement," a PIA spokesman told the agency.

The EU said earlier this month that it would allow only PIA's eight Boeing 777 planes to fly to Europe.

Its other 37 aircraft, mainly older Boeing 747s and Airbus A310s, were put on the EU blacklist due to safety concerns.

EU aviation sources said last month that experts had agreed that PIA should be added to the 27-nation bloc's blacklist because of its ageing fleet.

Kirmani earlier this month criticised the EU ban as discriminatory and said that steps were being taken to bring everything back to normal by March 28.

"The EU decision is unjust and discriminatory. PIA had a better record than certain major European airlines presently flying in the skies of the EU," Kirmani told a news conference on March 6.

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