RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) administration has laid off almost 1,000 surplus employees and has taken other measures to reduce the operating cost of the airline.
This was reported by the president and chief executive of the PIA, air marshal Arshad Malik, during a meeting with the advisor to the prime minister of Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, on Friday.
The PIA executive director, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Finance, informed Dr. Sheikh about various activities and initiatives undertaken by PIA to reduce its operating cost and increase revenue through better management and effective use of available financial and human resources.
Dr. Sheikh asked the PIA to follow an independent and sustainable business plan and said the government wanted the national airline to use its assets effectively, improve revenue flows and ensure efficiency and financial discipline.
The advisor stressed the importance of a viable and independent corporate plan to help the PIA overcome its difficulties and achieve sustainability in its business processes and flight operations. He said the government was completely behind the management of PIA and expected him to work diligently to turn the national flag carrier into an economically stable, viable and reliable airline for local and international travelers.
Arshad Malik thanked Dr. Sheikh for his guidance and support and said that PIA management had been able to lay off almost 1,000 "redundant employees" to save costs.
He described the ongoing Haj operation as a success with almost 90 percent efficiency achieved in the pre-Haj flight operation and expected similar results in the post-Haj operation, for which all possible efforts were made to bring from Return to the pilgrims as scheduled.
The prime minister's advisor ordered his team in the ministry of finance to work closely with the PIA administration and provide them with all possible financial assistance, taking into account the availability of fiscal space.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the Aviation Division in Islamabad to discuss the PIA business plan, requirements and other matters. The Minister of Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Dr. Hafeez Sheikh, the Secretary of Aviation Shahrukh Nusrat and Arshad Malik attended.
The prime minister ordered the executive director of PIA to improve airline performance and increase travel facilities. Mr. Khan ordered the Ministry of Finance to cooperate with the PIA in the purchase of new aircraft.
Two narrow body aircraft are expected to be included in the PIA fleet by the end of this year.
Published on Dawn, August 31, 2019