Great People to Fly With: PIA Inches Toward Turnaround

Only 20 percent of the available cargo capacity was being airlifted which has now been improved to 80 percent.

DESPARDES — Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has halved its monthly operating losses by following a decision-making process strictly pegged on business and commercial viability while inculcating a sense of ownership among the employees and management, it has emerged.

The national carrier’s CEO Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood Malik on Tuesday told key members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce (KCCI) that the monthly operational losses of the airlines had been reduced to Rs 1.5 billion against more than Rs 3 billion monthly losses before he assumed the charge.

He was speaking at an interactive session with members of the chamber in the metropolis.

PIA turnaround

Referring to PIA’s cargo operation, he said earlier only 20 percent of the available capacity was being airlifted which has now been improved to 80 percent.

The CEO highlighted that out of a fleet of 31 aircraft, 29 have been made air-worthy and were in the air, and only two aircraft were on the ground.

He said the national carrier –once pride of the nation, had 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.

The PIA Chief said still a lot needed to be done to deal with the airline’s accumulated liabilities, as current earnings were mostly consumed on debt servicing, he said.

PIA has also leased two aircraft which would join the fleet soon, he said. Three to five wide-body aircraft would also be added next year, he added. This would facilitate members of the business community intending to take direct flights to Canada and London, he said.

“All the policies and decisions were dictated in the past but not anymore”.

All decisions are now purely taken by the management keeping in view the business and commercial viability of the operations, said Mr. Malik.