KARACHI: Advisor to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan has directed the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to take all the necessary steps to bring the airline to international standards so that it can regain its past glory.
He said this during his visit to the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) headquarters here on Tuesday, February 21.
The advisor said that there should be no compromise on safety and good services and asked management to ensure that all decisions are taken on merit and in a transparent and efficient manner.
He said that the PIA is being supported from the money taxpayers; therefore, every possible step should be taken to reduce its losses and improve profitability.
The government, he said, has come to the rescue of the national flag carrier many times and there is a urgent need for a concrete solution to the problems faced by the PIA. He sought recommendations from the management for bringing rapid and concrete improvement in all departments of the airline.
The Adviser to PM said that the use of modern technology should be a top priority for the PIA and maximum funds should be invested in this area to bring about efficiency and productivity.
The Bernd Hildenbrand CEO also presented an overview on the working of various PIA departments, which was followed by individual presentations of the Flight Operations, Fleet Planning, Marketing, and Flight Safety, Engineering and Maintenance departments as well as the PIA Training Centre.
During his briefing, the CEO said that the aviation is one of the most dynamic industries in the world and airlines have to keep pace with technological advancements all the time adding that the PIA is part of the legacy carriers, some of which disappeared because they did not adapt to the changing environment.
He also talked about the challenges being faced by the PIA and gave a SWOT analysis of the airline. He said that the PIA plans to add more narrow and wide body aircraft this year.
The CEO said, “Our goal is to reach a stage of operational breakeven as soon as possible”.
The biggest challenge being faced by the PIA is the repayment of legacy loans, he added.
The adviser to PM was also informed about improved regularity and punctuality as well as the initiatives taken for aircraft cabin cleanliness, providing better in-flight menu and expansion of the network. He was informed that last year 1.1 million more passengers travelled on the PIA as compared to 2015, while the PIA’s domestic market share increased by 19 per cent and international by 3 per cent during this period.
PIACL Board Member Syed Yawar Ali, and Aviation Secretary and PIACL Acting Chairman M Irfan Elahi were also present during the meeting.