PIA is once again in the headlines surely not because of its good performance. For example, two ATR aircrafts engines flameout during their flight within 24 hours; luckily both landed safely. It is worth mentioning that the ATRs were the new aircrafts inducted after the grounding of Fokker, following the Multan crash. Recently, two Boeing 737 made an emergency landing at an en route airport due to technical faults. Just imagine what might have happened, if these aircrafts were flying over the sea with no landing place? Unfortunately, PIAs current pathetic situation developed two to three years back, but no positive steps were taken to rectify it. There is one crisis after another. Last year, a strike was called by the airline staffers and officers led by PALPA against an agreement with the Turkish Airline for surrendering the European and American routes to it, and thus limiting its operation to the status of a regional airline. The employees reacted immediately after the news about the agreement appeared in the press to save their jobs as well as the airline. Eventually, the Managing Director had to resign due to this strike. More so, PIA has approximately 40 aircrafts in its fleet and out of these, at least 10 are presently grounded for maintenance. It is becoming extremely difficult for it to manage the operations/flights within its limited network. But the problems do not end here The emergence of new airlines in the region, especially in the Middle East, offering handsome salaries to its employees as compared to PIA has resulted in the brain drain. Many experienced staffers, including pilots, engineers, cabin crew and ground staff, have resigned. The shortage of engineers is resulting in technical delays, while the shortage of pilots and ground staff in operational delays. PIA, therefore, definitely needs to induct new pilots and engineers immediately. Also, it is high time to change the airlines ageing fleet before any major disaster occurs. All the other measures to improve its working can be made after the change of aircrafts. KHABEER UL TANWIR, Lahore, September 30.