PIA Airbus A320 Gets New Paint Job After Flying Through Swarm Of Bugs

A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 received a new paint job after flying through a swarm of bugs. The A320’s nose and cockpit were visibly struck by a large number of the bugs.

A320 PIA
A Pakistan International Airlines received a bit of a new paint job after flying through a swarm of bugs. Photo: M. Salahuddin via Twitter

Locusts attack a PIA Airbus A320

ARY News reports that the Airbus A320 was operating flight PK310 from Karachi to Quetta. As the aircraft was preparing for landing, the plane came in contact with a swarm of locusts that grazed the nose and cockpit windows.

Pakistan International Airlines A320
A Pakistan International Airlines A320 in normal livery. Photo: Alec Wilson via Flickr

However, the aircraft managed to land safely in Quetta. Engineers examined the aircraft after landing and found no abnormalities or damage to the engines. However, the locusts did cause some minor denting. And, of course, gave the aircraft a new paint job.

Does British Airways “Dove” have a new competitor?

British Airways is well known for a simple livery. However, the airline has one Airbus A320-200 in a “Dove” livery. This aircraft is golden and is painted with numerous bird elements. British Airways did, however, pay for this special paint job, rather than receiving it as a free gift from Mother Nature.

British Airways Dove
The British Airways “Golden Dove” Airbus A320. Photo: Maarten Visser via Flickr

However, unlike the “Dove”, the Aviation Herald reports that the Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320, registered as AP-BLB, received a “curing” of the measles-like paint scheme before returning to Karachi. Although this would have been one heck of a story and livery for future flights, airline management probably thought it was not a good look for the flag carrier’s planes.

Locusts and aircraft

According to reports, Quetta is known for some locust strikes. Normally, the Civil Aviation Authority conducts anti-locust sprays to prevent such strikes from occurring either upon takeoff or landing.

Locust swarm
Locust swarms can strike aircraft as happened in this situation. Photo: Niv Singer via Flickr

These swarms can cause some troubles for pilots. Unfortunately, large swarms can obstruct a pilot’s visibility which can make it difficult to detect hazards on or near a runway. Furthermore, these swarms can impact the engines. Moreover, due to the small size of the locust, they can end up affecting an aircraft’s exterior such as messing with the pitot tube which tells pilots their airspeed according to an article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan International Airlines, or PIA for short, is the flag carrier of Pakistan. The airline is not well-known on the global stage and operates a relatively small fleet. PIA does operate ATR turboprops alongside Airbus A320s, 777-200LRs, 777-200ERs, and 777-300ERs.

PIA uses these widebodies to fly to destinations like Manchester, London, Birmingham, Bangkok, Barcelona, Dubai, and Beijing among other international destinations (without plastic cutlery). Some will remember PIA for the assistance the airline provided Emirates when the airline first started up.

PIA 777
Pakistan International Airlines flies Boeing 777 aircraft. Photo: Boeing

Do you think Pakistan International Airlines should have kept the new paint job? Let us know in the comments!