Islamabad, April 23, 2014 (PPI-OT): A meeting to discuss PIA affairs was held at P.M’s House. Minister for Finance, Mr. Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Special Assistant to PM Shujat Azeem, Secretary, Aviation, Mr. Muhammad Ali Gerdazi, DG Civil Aviation, Air Marshal ® Muhammad Yousaf and M.D PIA, Mr. Muhammad Junaid Yousaf, attended the meeting. PM was given a detailed presentation on PIA.
The Honorable Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif threw light on the past performance of PIA. He also touched upon the halcyon days PIA enjoyed in the past.
PM said that “PIA was one our national pride and its efficiency and high quality service were its hallmark. It also set examples for other airlines. It is cause for national embracement as its performance has deteriorated at breath-taking pace over the past decade. It now neither is efficient nor profitable. It has incurred losses around Rs 183 billion in 2013. The Service delivery is equally lamentable. Over-employment in PIAC is a grave problem. Perhaps some efforts were made to turn it around in the past, but there has been no improvement in its efficiency or profitability. Pilferage also continues unabated in PIAC.
PM was briefed that steps have now been taken to overhaul the PIAC to restore its former position amongst the best airlines of the world. Now PIA has 24 operational aircrafts out of 34. SOPs governing fuel management were revised to optimize fuel utilization and it saved Rs 500 million per annum. The closure of loss making routes has saved Rs 902 million per annum. 330 fake degree holders have been dismissed. A Task force is instituted to identify more fake degree holders on fast track.
PM was also informed that New SMS service is launched and activated to inform passengers for flight timings. All promotions will take place through mandatory NTS (National Testing Service) process. A dedicated task force is established at all major domestic stations to facilitate passengers. Two new routes to facilitate passengers have been introduced: Lahore-Quetta-Mashad – Quetta- Lahore and Multan –Jeddah – Multan –and Multan – Madina- Multan.
Six grounded aircrafts have been refurbished and put into operation. Airlines Integrated Management System (AIMS), costing $1.5 Million is now being now put to optimal use, for bringing efficiency and accountability in flight operation
The Prime Minister said that the government will encourage privatization of the PIAC through competitive and transparent process without preemptive downsizing. The Prime Minister showed trust on the Board of Directors and lauded the competency of its members. He added that there will be no interfere in the matters of Board and the government will extend its full cooperation in streamlining the PIAC.
PM was told that the National Flag Carrier is presently in the process of acquiring 11 A320 aircraft on lease with deliveries starting from June 2014. With Additional 05 Boeing 777 aircraft, the National Flag Carrier will be in a better position to offer enhanced services to its passengers, increase revenue, destinations, flight punctuality and reduced maintenance costs.
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Haji Ahmed Malik
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