Lahore: A foodie pilot delayed a New York-bound Pakistan International Airlines` flight by two and a half hours because he wanted to take sandwiches, which were not part of the approved menu, aboard the plane.
PIA flight Pk-711, scheduled for New York via Manchester, was ready for departure yesterday from Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore at 6:45 am (local time).
The catering department served the approved menu, including lunch, peanuts, chips and biscuits but Flight Captain Noushad asked them to serve him sandwiches, The Nation daily reported.
The catering staff expressed their inability to serve anything beyond the approved menu and also informed him of the sensitivity of the flight`s departure time.
The staff told him that sandwiches could only be arranged by placing an order to a five-star hotel in the city, which would take more than two hours, the report said.
The captain remained adamant about his demand and said no matter how much time it would take he needed sandwiches at any cost, it said.
The catering department contacted the PIA head office in Karachi and brought the matter to their notice.
Surprisingly, the management directed the catering department to meet his demand.
Sandwiches were arranged from the hotel concerned and the flight could depart at 9:15 am (local time) with the delay of two and a half hours, the report said.
The PIA management has revised the menu on international and long-haul flights as a cost-saving campaign and sandwiches were replaced with peanuts, chips and biscuits. This service was started from November 25.
A PIA officer said the menu was revised on the recommendations of a committee, formed in the recent past, comprising pilots as its member as well.
When contacted, PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar said the management had taken a serious notice of the delay of an international flight. He said investigation had been ordered and action would be taken against those responsible for it.