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Written by Ch. Faisal Mahmood

Once again in the news is the flag carrier of our country, on hearing or reading the very name of which, conjures up sentiments of bruised pride, concern, dismay, anger, tolerance and hope among Pakistanis, depending on their age and station in life. Ours is of bruised pride.

We have seen our national carrier when it was truly the nation’s pride and the youth then on the verge of graduating, aspired to be employed by it. Yes it was, among so many things, also a coveted employer. It ranked among the top ten airlines of the world and the world of civil aviation used to send out its own count of the ‘firsts’ that it achieved every now and then.

Yes, PIA is in the news; news, which have caused ripples, ripples which our seniors in the media have played up, raising as much anxieties as suspicions and theories. However, we have faith.

First came the news that an Aviation Advisor has been appointed. That was to be expected as the controlling Ministry vests with the Prime Minster. Immediately thereafter, the Advisor has started the process of restructuring of Pakistan International Airline (PIA), the most common terminology used in last two years about PIA is structuring and restructuring and the end result until now is that after losing Billion of Rupees through PIA Premier, the PIA experts have come to know that dry lease is better than wet lease.

The report filed by our correspondent shows that the airline Recently has issued a notification by which chief operating officer, chief technical officer, chief financial officer, chief human resources officer, chief corporate development officer, chief information officer, chief officer / general manager safety and quality assurance and general manager procurement & logistics chief executive will be the heads of their respective sectors and they will report to chief executive officer. Holiday considers it more confused and slow system.

We hope that the new advisor and the Board would look deep and wide enough to ascertain the causes, the factors, the events, the choice of equipment,  the macro policy inputs, the diplomatic environment and of course the Market rates of any equipment on wet lease or on dry lease  etcetera in its recent history which have brought the once healthy corporation to its present sickness. What was it that a junior traffic assistant in the 1960s could himself decide what to say and what to do when a flight was delayed and what is it that now even the airport manager can not – or does not – take such decisions.

It is all a question of management and the quantum of authority vested in the manager who, of course, must primarily have the requisite know-how, personal qualities and communications skills to get done what he has to get done.



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