WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MAHMOOD
The government has decided to inject Rs5.6bn more to PIA, this time the injection is meant for repairing and buying of spare part for grounded aircrafts. The Airline is faced with the challenges of accumulated liabilities, whereas on one hand, default notices are being served by Aircraft Lessor and, on the other, pressure is being exerted by vendors and service providers like General Authority of Civil Aviation, Saudi Ground Services and international fuel suppliers regarding suspension of services. In such situation the Teeka of Rs5.6bn will not do.
Our readers will recall that throughout the past many years, in this space, on this page, we have proactively drawn attention to the various national institutions in our Tourism Industry and to their work, efforts, achievements and potentials. One such institution, rather the major such institution being PIA, we have often addressed its doings, problems, abilities, efforts and achievements. Against its projected privatization, we have been unambiguous.
Our opposition to privatization of the national carrier has hinged primarily on the professional expertise, professionalism, sense of belonging and manifested dedication in its core personnel in its various departments. But our Common Man pride in such personnel has been hurt by the senior management of PIA, which caused heavy losses to our national carrier from consequent wrong decision & management.
The new management of the PIA, led by new CEO, like all previous managements & teams is, however, also very confident and optimistic about turnaround in the airline with a five-year strategic business plan and some short-term imperative measures. PIA needs both long- and short-term plans to overcome losses and take profitable routes. We wish the new CEO success in his efforts to make the PIA a profitable enterprise.
He, like his all predecessors has identified grouping, mismanagement and corruption the main reasons making the PIA a national burden. The airline has been running on bailout packages one after another. Successive governments have injected billions and billions just to keep the PIA Planes Flying. Right now the position is that its current liabilities, which were around Rs. 300 billion in 2017, now stand at Rs 431 billion.
With such huge liabilities and with highly politicized 18,000 plus employee and a fleet of 32 airplanes are taking the airline from bad to verse position so to its loss sheets. Fact of matter is the airline is showing huge losses year after year and never took a U turn, like our politicians.
Our all good wishes are with new CEO for the revival of our National pride, our national flag carrier. This is a fact that among all other commercial institutions, people of Pakistan love PIA the most.
The CEO Knows that issues like grouping and administrative affairs being held hostage by the PIA Union, our staffed and stuffed by non-professional political workers of different political parties. As a result of that professional, hardworking and competent people are outnumbered by incompetent people; this grouping and favoritism is badly affecting the end performance of the airline. It is high time the management takes tough decisions to discipline the staff to make its cost saving operations a big success. Closing of lose making routes and opening of profit able routes is good decision by the new management.
Our all good wishes are with new CEO for the revival of our National pride, our national flag carrier. This is a fact that among all other commercial institutions, people of Pakistan love PIA the most. But for revival, the new CEO needs a team of smart, honest and dedicated experts for top posts who should be given full authority and powers to run the operations and the government will have to show a strong will to stand by the management as often the PIA union resists such actions besides this government should support the airline by injecting more money for the expansion of the fleet.¾