PIA pilots, cabin crew advised against fasting | The Express Tribune


Rawalpindi: Pilots and cabin crew members of the national airline Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have been advised to adhere to guidelines by abstaining from fasting during travel and flights throughout the month of Ramadan.

The directive came from the manager of the flight safety department at PIA, who sent out a circular to all cabin crew members, outlining guidelines regarding fasting during flights.

The correspondence emphasised that while flying while fasting was technically feasible, it introduced an element of risk as it may reduce the margin of safety, as per corporate safety management and the aircrew medical centre’s advice.

It said that fasting can potentially decrease alertness and impair decision-making abilities, which could lead to serious consequences in emergency situations.

Read more: All PIA pilots want to quit, claims CAA DG

The letter further highlighted that fasting, although a revered practice in Islam, disrupts the normal routine and can lead to physiological changes such as hypoglycemia and dehydration, which could affect concentration, decision-making abilities, and reflexes.

The document warned of the potentially serious consequences in emergency situations if actions were delayed or executed incorrectly due to the effects of fasting.

While acknowledging the religious significance of fasting, the letter stressed that exemptions are granted for fasting during travel.

It underscored the responsibility of cockpit and cabin crew members not only to themselves but also to passengers and ground staff, emphasising that fasting while on duty could pose risks not only to their own safety but also to others.

The directive explicitly instructed all fasting cockpit and cabin crew members to abstain from operating flights, highlighting that self-exemptions cannot be claimed even under state law. It emphasised compliance with rules and regulations to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

Meanwhile, when approached, a PIA spokesperson confirmed to The Express Tribune that a circular had been previously issued on this matter, and the airline is diligently ensuring its implementation to uphold safety standards.

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