Islamabad, July 13, 2013 (PPI-OT): Government has been pumping in billions of rupees to bail out Pakistan International Airlines and keep it afloat, but its performance is going down day by day. The best option for government is to privatize PIA as early as possible to improve its performance and save the national exchequer from further drain, said Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while giving his reaction on the approval of Rs.7-billion by the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet to bail out the national flag carrier.
He said according to PIA’s own report, the airline has suffered losses worth Rs.119.84 billion over the last ten years, which is not acceptable for a commercial entity and shows the extent of its bad performance. Flight delays and cancellation has become the norm of PIA as its flight delay ratio is more than 35% due to which its passengers are now shifting to other airlines.
He said out of the 34 aircrafts in PIA’s fleet, 24 are serviceable while the aircraft-to-employee ratio in PIA currently stands at 552 per aircraft compared to global average ratio of 120. All these indicators call for urgent restructuring of the airline and prepare it for privatization to bring professionalism in its operations and get rid of huge subsidies which the government has to pay to keep the PSEs in running condition.
Zafar Bakhtawari said government has been providing unnecessary protection to PIA, which made the airline more inefficient turning it into a big liability. He said terrorism is not the only cause for isolation of Pakistan, bad performance of PIA is also an important factor discouraging tourists from coming to Pakistan due to non-availability of direct flights.
He said government should adopt an open sky policy and provide incentives to other airlines to commence direct flights to Pakistan. It would help in improving the connectivity of Pakistan at regional and international level and also facilitate in promoting trade and exports of the country.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Tel: +9251 225 0526 and 225 3145
Fax: +9251 225 2950