Pakistan said on Wednesday it would not use Fokker planes for passenger flights after one of them crashed, killing all 45 people on board. The Fokker F-27 turboprop, operated by state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), crashed on Monday on the outskirts of the central city of Multan two minutes after takeoff. "Fokkers will not be used for commercial flights. They will be used for cargo and other purposes," Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani told reporters after a cabinet meeting. "The cabinet agreed that a sense of insecurity and fear had developed among the people about travelling in Fokkers after the crash."
Pakistan has six Fokker planes in its fleet. Monday’s was the third crash of a Fokker Friendship operated by state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) since 1970. PIA is replacing the Fokkers, built in 1964, with ATR 42-500 aircraft from Avions de Transport Regional — a joint venture between France-based European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company and Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica. One of the new planes has been delivered and six more are due by mid-2007, PIA officials said.