Amid much fanfare, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) earlier this week launched its ‘Premier’ service for flights to London.
With a revamped livery, dapper new crew uniforms and an expansive in-flight entertainment system with 250 channels, the impressive customer reviews Premier received came as no surprise.
Not all PIA customers treat the service as ‘special’ though.
In photos shared by PIA spokesperson Danyal Gilani, the inside of a Premier plane looks like a war zone on its arrival in London from Islamabad on Wednesday.
The floor is strewn with a variety of litter — food crumbs, cups and even a pillow with wool sticking out.
Moreover, according to Gilani, some customers admired the lotions in the airplane lavatory a little too much: they sneaked off the plane with two full bottles.
“This is what our new A-330 looked like upon arrival in London yesterday,” the spokesperson wrote as he shared the photos on Twitter.
Talking to Images, the PIA spokesperson remarked that while the airline routinely cleans every plane, not every type of stain can be removed easily.
“Passengers should not treat these planes like public buses,” he said.
“We request our valued customers to take care of this new aircraft as if this is their personal property and value this excellent service being provided by PIA Premier, which is for their own comfort without any extra charges,” he added.
Some social media users found nothing wrong with the photos, commenting that it was, after all, the airline’s responsibility to clean up the cabin after each flight.
However, the spokesperson’s comment may point to a larger problem that extends beyond airlines — that, in general, common decency is scarce in Pakistan and people rarely think to clean up after themselves. Cases in point? Public urination and a culture of littering are rampant in Pakistan.
PIA Premier, which was started after the national carrier acquired three planes from Sri Lankan Airlines on a wet-lease, currently has six flights scheduled for London per week, three each from Islamabad and Lahore. Later, with addition of more aircraft, the service will be expanded to other destinations.
The aircraft is equipped with LCD screens along with flat bed service for business-class passengers.
A complimentary limousine service for PIA Premier business-class passengers is offered upon their arrival at London’s Heathrow Airport. The service will be available within a radius of 25 km from Heathrow Airport.
The Premier service has so far been lauded by most passengers. Even the CEO of aviation giant Boeing, according to Maryam Nawaz, “appreciated” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his “efforts to revamp PIA” and expressed his desire to become a part of this reformation.