Technical adviser, CEO found guilty in selling PIA A-310 to German Museum

Technical Adviser PIA, Halmet Bechofiz was also director of the German Museum to which the A310 was sold for Rs 5.6m

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Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) board of directors has decided to pursue departmental action against PIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bernd Hildenbrand, a German National aviation expert and others alleged of being involved in a corruption scandal of selling a worthy PIA A-310 aircraft to a German museum for a mere Rs 5.6m.

The 11th Meeting of Board of Directors of PIA was held on April 18 chaired by the Acting Chairman Muhammad Irfan Elahi in which the board was presented a report regarding the case. PIA Spokesperson is reported to have said that the BOD discusses issues concerning PIA operations, administration and improving the national carrier’s profitability.

Sources have been reported to have said that BOD reviewed the report and concluded in light of the findings that the BOD will be issuing a show-cause notice to high ranking officials of the airline.

The Report also stated that CEO Bernd Hildenbrand and his former Chief Coordinator Halmet Bechofiz were both involved in the scandal.

Halmet Bechofiz had been appointed technical adviser to PIA in October, 2016 as per the recommendation of CEO Bernd Hildenbrand. In addition to working for PIA, Halmet Bechofiz was also the director of the German Museum which bought the Airbus A310 at the throwaway price.

After the scandal came to light, Halmet Bechofiz was removed from his post after which he returned to Germany while Bernd Hildenbrand was sent on leave until the investigation was complete. Moreover, Hildenbrand was placed on the Exit Control List, barring him from travelling abroad.

A senior director level executive is reported to have termed the decision “a poor decision”. He feared that the inquiry was partial, unable to accommodate complete evidence.

Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) is investing the alleged corruption scandal and has summoned PIA directors in this regard.