ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chairman Azam Saigol has tendered his resignation on ‘personal grounds’.

Saigol forwarded his resignation to the PIA board of governors citing personal reasons in it, said aviation sources. A PIA spokesman and the Aviation Division have confirmed the development.

The resignation comes days after an ATR-42 aircraft of the PIA crashed into the hillside near Havelian area of district Abbottabad, killing all 42 passengers and five crew members onboard.

Since then the national flag-carrier has been under fire over allegedly poor flight safety protocols.

It is pertinent to mention here that the PIA chairman, speaking at news conference hours after the crash, had contended that the crashed ATR plane was fit to fly.

Earlier today, the PIA grounded its entire fleet of ATR aircraft till a thorough ‘examination’ is completed.

“In view of the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision of holding shakedown tests of PIA’s entire ATR fleet, it has been decided to keep all 10 ATR aircraft grounded till they are cleared after thorough examination,” a press release from the airline stated.

Temporary suspension of ATR operation will particularly affect PIA’s flight operations to smaller airports like Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Moenjodaro, Zhob, Bahawalpur, DG Khan, Chitral and Gilgit.