Pakistan International Airlines are investigating reports that extra passengers on an overbooked flight stood in the aisles.
Reports have emerged that seven passengers on flight PK743 from Karachi to Medina, Saudi Arabia on 20th January, were forced to stand in the aisles throughout the flight. Pakistan International Airlines has promised a thorough investigation into the allegations.
The flight was operated by a Boeing-777 which seats only 409 passengers and crew. However, the airline confirmed that 416 people boarded the flight. It is claimed that airline staff issued handwritten boarding passes for the extra 7 passengers as the computer systems are designed to prevent allocating more passes than the aircraft can seat.
Anwer Adil, the captain of the flight, claims he was unaware of the incident until it was too late. He was quoted as saying: “I had already taken off and the senior purser did not inform me about extra passengers before closing the aircraft door. Therefore after take-off immediate landing back at Karachi was not possible as it required a lot of fuel dumping which was not in the interest of the airline.”
Aviation experts have expressed their concern as an over-crowded flight would have caused problems in an emergency evacuation. In addition, if oxygen masks were deployed, the extra passengers would not have had access to them.