ISLAMABAD Dec 13 Pakistan International
Airlines (PIA) chairman Azam Saigol has resigned from his post
citing personal reasons, the company's spokesman said on
Tuesday, less than a week after a PIA plane crashed and all 47
people on board were killed.
Officials say the aircraft suffered engine problems soon
after take off from the mountainous region of Chitral last
Wednesday, but it is not clear what caused the crash about 50 km
(31 miles) from the capital, Islamabad, its destination.
"Yes, the chairman of PIA has resigned due to personal
reasons," Danyal Gilani, spokesman for PIA, told Reuters.
Citing sources, Pakistani English-language newspaper The
News, said Saigol had come under pressure to resign in the wake
of the crash.
The media focus in Pakistan following the crash has fallen
on PIA's safety record, but the loss-making state carrier has
vehemently denied media reports that there was a fault with the
aircraft before the takeoff.
On Monday, PIA grounded its fleet of 10 European-made ATR
planes after Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority decided to
conduct "shakedown tests" of the carrier's entire ATR fleet.
Officials say the crashed ATR-42 aircraft, built in 2007,
had racked up 18,739 flight hours since joining PIA's fleet that
year and the plane's captain, Saleh Janjua, had logged more than
12,000 flight hours over his career.
(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan. Writing by Drazen Jorgic;
Editing by Michael Perry)