KARACHI: Chief Executive Officer Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood Malik has said that the monthly operational losses have been reduced to Rs1.5 billion as compared to more than Rs3 billion suffered by the airline every month when he assumed charge of the national flag carrier.
“The reduction in operational losses became possible only due to day-night efforts of PIA team, comprising of those officers who have been working at PIA since last many years but a lot more still needs to be done to deal with PIA’s liabilities as whatever is being earned by the airline is mostly spent on debt servicing”, he added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Tuesday.
Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Senior Vice President Arshad Islam, Vice President Shahid Ismail, Former Presidents Haroon Agar, Shamim Ahmed Firpo and Junaid Makda along with KCCI Managing Committee Members were also present at the meeting.
CEO PIA informed that PIA has a fleet of 31 aircrafts, of which 23 aircrafts were able to fly but now 29 aircrafts are in the air and only two aircrafts were on the ground due to dedicated efforts of PIA’s staff particularly its engineering team. In order to expand the existing fleet, PIA has leased an aircraft (A-320) from its own resources, which will landing on November 14 while another aircraft will also arrive in December this year and three to five wide-body aircrafts will also be added next year which would certainly facilitate those members of the business community intending to take direct flights to Canada and London.
He was of the opinion that PIA has the potential to grow but unfortunately due to poor policies and management style, the issues being faced by the airline were largely ignored during the last 10 to 12 years, which resulted in overstaffing and excessive liabilities. All the policies and decisions were dictated in the past but not anymore, as all the decisions are now purely taken by the management keeping in view the business and commercial viability. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has assured that whatever is recommended by PIA will be prioritized in the lager interest of the country which has never happened before while during a Cabinet Meeting, the Prime Minister also categorically stated that any individual found in interfering in PIA’s affairs will be facing strict action”, he added.
Referring to PIA’s cargo operation, he said that only 20 percent of the available capacity was being airlifted which has now been improved to 80 percent because of business community’s cooperation. “The airline needs support and we will drop our cargo rates as compared to the market rates if people choose to avail PIA’s cargo facility”, he added.