PIA’s Worries Multiply | Higher Fuel Prices & Currency Deprecation Hit Hard

ISLAMABAD: Following the recent increase in oil prices and depreciation of rupees against the US dollar, monthly operational losses of the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have recorded phenomenal increase of about two billion rupees, sources said on Thursday.

 “These factors are contributing to monthly losses, in addition to PIA’s liabilities to the tune of Rs400 billion, making it nearly impossible for the management to bring a turnaround in its business plans,” the sources in the Aviation Division said. They were of the view that the current losses on account of increased fuel prices and depreciation of rupee has added to PIA’s financial constraints in gradually disposing of its liabilities including bank loans.

The Aviation Division has already brought these issues in the notice of Ministry of Finance to take appropriate steps in containing these losses in order to improve performance and businesses worthiness of the national flag carrier.

Sources further said that overstaff is another factor adversely affecting PIA’s performance, arguing that the ratio of workers per aircraft works out to 450.

As per details, there are 13,500 regular employees and more than 3,500 daily wagers currently working in PIA, sources said and added that if non-core staff such as catering, engineering and ground handling crew were separated from the core employees, the ratio of workers against one aircraft would come down to 135.

In the engineering section alone, PIA has more than 4,000 employees, making it difficult for the management to ensure payment of monthly salary to the staff.  PIA’s all earnings go straight into banks, which deduct the loans taken by PIA before releasing the remaining amount.

About the status of the operational aircraft, sources said that out of 33 aircraft fleet, five have been grounded for maintenance.

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