PIA Restructuring, Revival Shehbaz Forms High Level Committee

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LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted a committee to work out restructuring, reformation and revival of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). He was chairing a meeting to discuss the matters pertaining to the PIA, according to the PM Office.

The committee, headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, would present its proposals and recommendations to the federal cabinet after Eidul Azha. The committee would also comprise Railways and Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar, Special Assistant to the PM Jahanzeb Khan and secretary aviation.

The body would deliberate on different options for restructuring and revival of the PIA.

The aviation minister briefed the prime minister on the proposed roadmap and reformative measures for the uplift of the national flag-carrier.

The PM appreciated efforts of the minister for PIA’s revival. He said PIA had the capacity to overcome the losses.

The meeting was told that the number of planes in the PIA fleet would have to be increased from 27 to 49, in order to steer the airline out of crisis.

PM Shehbaz said the PIA had lost the Europe and US routes owing to irresponsible statements by the previous government, inflicting loss of billions of rupees. He recalled that the incompetent ministers of the previous government had victimised international investors, Chinese firms and Turkish businessmen.

Calling the reformation process inevitable, the PM told the meeting that the PIA could only progress if run by professional and administrative experts purely on a profit-and-loss basis. He said the government was heading towards a policy mechanism in which its role would be confined to the policy-making and facilitation of investors, businessmen and companies.

Federal ministers Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Azam Nazeer Tarar, Adviser Ahad Cheema and relevant authorities attended the meeting.

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