PIA, Pakistan’s national airline, has been roundly mocked after officials sacrificed a black goat to bring luck to a plane departing from Islamabad airport on Sunday.
The animal was beheaded on the runway by airline officials before the take-off of a turboprop ATR-42 aircraft – the same model as the PIA plane that crashed into a mountain on December 7, killing all 48 people on board.
After the crash, Muhammad Azam Saigol, PIA’s chairman, tendered his resignation citing personal reasons. The government’s Aviation Secretary, Irfan Elahi, was then appointed acting chairman of the airline.
The sacrifice, according to this report, was intended as “a gesture of gratitude”, according to a PIA spokesman. An image of the killing posted on social media soon went viral.
GeoTV reported that the sacrifice of the animal, after a complete examination of the ATR plane had taken place, was ordered by PIA’s Director of Engineering.
Shocking the depths we have fallen to. PIA was amongst the top airlines of the world & now it is slaughtering goats for safety of its planes.
Others commented that they would rather see technical improvements to the aircraft than animal sacrifices. Dawn, the most widely read English-language newspaper in Pakistan, had the front-page headline that said:
PIA: On a wing and a prayer.
Sunday’s flight landed safely in Multan, in the east of the country.
Hat tip: Fraser