Now Reading: PIA Bans Crew From Fasting During Flights in the Month of Ramadan
Pakistan International Airlines has barred its pilots and flight attendants from fasting onboard flights during Ramadan, citing concerns that the crew will be unable to respond appropriately in an emergency, placing everyone onboard at risk otherwise. The Holy month of Ramadan is set to begin this week and will last until early May.
PIA released a safety warning to its pilots and flight attendants ahead of Ramadan this week, according to a private media source. Fasting is known to trigger exhaustion, sluggish reflexes, poor stamina, and weakening judgement, according to the warning, which advises crews about fasting when operating flights.
Fasting can interfere with the ability of both pilots and cabin crew to be sharp and alert for any possible safety issues while flying. The risk is defined as “considerable” by PIA, who advises crews not to fast while onboard.
The circular read;
“Although, while it is perceived that flying with fasting is a possibility, in such a case the element of risk is considerable and margin of safety minimal. In an emergency with multiple complexities, wrong and delayed actions may result in serious consequences due to impaired judgment and incapacitation…While fasting, one has to go for a change in normal routine. Therefore, fasting and flying may not be confined to religious reasons as there are defined relaxations on fasting while travelling.”
PIA justified its decision by telling its pilots and cabin crew that it was fine to eat and drink during daylight hours at work because travelers had long been excluded from fasting. Pilots at Pakistan’s embattled national airline, on the other hand, have been told not to risk breaking their fast while flying a plane. After weighing all of the evidence, it’s obvious that flying an aeroplane while fasting puts not just your own life in jeopardy, but also the lives of those on board and on the ground.
Given the potential dangers of fasting while travelling, Pakistan International’s decision is understandable. In reality, PIA won’t be the only airline to implement this policy; several Middle Eastern carriers are expected to follow suit. Flying internationally during Ramadan can also be a memorable experience, thanks to some airlines’ new service policies.
Though crews are not allowed to fast, passengers do not have this restriction. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has temporarily lifted a ban on serving meals on domestic flights that was imposed in response to an increase in cases.
Modern aircraft have made it easier for travelers to keep their fasts going in recent years and many airlines in Muslim-majority countries now offer special Iftar boxes for passengers once the sun sets. As such, passengers on PIA and similar airlines can now request an iftar meal as well, which is a big relief for travelers.
To avoid touch aboard, the meal will be given out during check-in. The relaxed mask requirement only applies while passengers are eating; otherwise, masks are required. An Iftar box traditionally contains staples including Arabic bread, dates, laban, and water to make for a relatively okay experience.