PIA passengers forced to stay on board for nearly three hours, without air conditioning and despite the Paris heatwave weather warning; one baby suffered from heat exhaustion

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By Wo st 01 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10775064

On Friday 3 August, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK 750 was scheduled for a flight from Paris CDG to Lahore. The aircraft supposed to leave Paris airport at 21:00 (UTC +2) but due to an alleged air traffic control restriction the flight only departed nearly 3 hours later, at 23:57 (*). 

On that day it was extremely hot in Paris, with temperatures rising up to 35 degrees celcius. The heat caused the temperature in the plane to rise rapidly. Due to unknown reasons, the air conditioning of the aircraft (or the external air conditioning) was not used. In a short film that was spread a few days later on social media, we see a mother who desperately asks for fresh air, and she begs to open the door because her 1 month old baby had fainted from the heat.

For God’s sake, tell the man to open the door,” the mother urged the crew. However, the crew refused to open the door stating that it was not their responsibility. “The ground staff is responsible for this problem.” replied a member of the security.

On 8 August, PIA issued a statement saying that an investigation has been launched: “PIA has taken serious notice of the unfortunate incident that took place on PK 750. Our President and CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan has taken immediate and serious notice and has asked for a detailed inquiry into the matter. The delay was for 30 minutes (**) as doors were closed, aircraft was ready for push back, however air traffic control clearance was not received and the aircraft could not start its engines as the aircraft was still parked at the jetty. If any negligence is identified, immediate appropriate action will be taken. We are in touch with the family & are happy to report that the baby is fine and doing well.

* according to flightradar24 data

** the press release announced a delay of only 30 minutes. Flightradar24 data suggest a delay of just under 3 hours. Quite a difference …

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