PIA is facing an all-time high loss of Rs 75 billion while its overpaid pilots are demanding fantastic salary raises of over 35%. The only remedy for this is to close down the airline temporarily. PIA's politically-appointed management, with relatively little or no managerial skills and questionable professional integrity, is not qualified to take on the responsibility of running such a massive enterprise. Tens of billions of rupees have gone down the drain. The raises PIA pilots are demanding would set in motion a chain reaction with engineers following suit immediately and others rising afterwards. Years ago when Philippine Airlines was facing huge losses and persistent demands for salary hikes, the government decided to close down the airline and suspend all operations. It first fired everybody, then chose to rehire a select few and run the airline with drastic reduction of schedules, manpower and other liabilities. The other option is to privatize it immediately and lease out its key operations to other airlines and wait for the time when PIA is hammered into new shape by commercial operators. This airline has bled for decades in revenues due to pilferage in procurement and all pervasive corruption. Time to lay it at rest. -RASHID ORAKZAI, Quetta, via e-mail, April 19.