LAHORE -  The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Board of Director (BOD) has expressed dissatisfaction over the business plan presented by the current management in the meeting held on Thursday.

The meeting was chaired by PIA Chairman Irfan Elahi and PIA CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan presented business plan before the board meeting. Sources privy to development said that the PIA CEO presented business plan in board meeting wherein airline was supposed to purchase five new B-787 planes. But the BOD members termed the plan sketchy and narrative and directed the management to put more efforts to make the plan comprehensive. The board members were of the view that plan was not supported by the numbers which should clearly spell out the feasibility. There was no proper feasibility or profit and loss summary in the plan which was integral parts of any successful business plan . Sources claimed that the BOD members reminded the management that already there was a directive from the board to hire a reputable consultant for preparation of long term five years business plan .

In the business plan a growth rate of 7-8 percent has been shown. At the same time it was proposed that PIA should get rid of 777’s and replace them by 787 and A350s as 777s are too big. The CEO was not able to explain that on one hand you are showing growth rate of 8 percent and on the other hand you are proposing smaller aircrafts. This is contradictory.

Yesterday only the advisor, in his press conference, said that one 777 has been refurbished and all the 777s will be refurbished. Total cost of refurbishment is expected to be over $40 million. The board asked the PIA CEO to put up a plan which is realistic and logical.

The board also showed strong reservation on the decision of closure of NYC flight. Initially the CEO took a stand that the management is not under obligation to take the board into confidence as this is a commercial decision. Certain board members took strong exception to this and asked the chairman to explain to the CEO that he is subservient to the board. It was finally decided that closure of NYC will be reviewed and a full presentation be made to the board in the next meeting.

It is worth mentioning here that PM’s Adviser on Aviation Mehtab Abbasi, couple of days back, had claimed that just last year the national airline incurred a loss of Rs40 billion and suffered losses of Rs400 billion in last decade. While the public opinion is divided on whether the government should consider privatisation an option, Abbasi opines if the government gives one-time bailout package of $2 billion so that loans could be paid off.

Sources said that Abbasi needs to be reminded that it is not the loans of the airline, which has placed the organisation on the decline. It will really help the advisor if he looks into the poor management and political interference in the affairs of the national airline, they added. Hiring unqualified and ill-equipped staff for technical and professional jobs, overstaffing, multiple layers of management, inadequate market strategies are some of the factors that are responsible for the decline of the service mentioned above, they said. Instead of relying on financial assistance from the government, it is better to show some improvements first, they added.

Before putting technical and management affairs of the organisation in order, it is not fair to demand the government for a bailout package, they said, adding that reforms from within will help the PIA to save huge amounts of money. The same business plan after the board approval was supposed to be presented to the prime minister in his next meeting.