MULTAN :    PIA has come up with an aggressive strategy for its restructuring though it had faced loss of Rs  200b during the last eight years.    Secy Defence and Chairman PIA, Lt-Gen (R) Asif Yasin Malik, made the remarks addressing representatives of the business community of South Punjab at Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday noon. “We are flying wrong aircraft on wrong routes,” he said and added that they were going to buy eight aircraft for the national flag carrier by October or December this year.

He disclosed that PIA had not added new aircraft to its fleet for a decade.

About Multan International Airport’s completion, the PIA chairman announced that it would be operational by the first quarter of 2014.  “It is too big for today. However, it will need expansion after 2025,” he added.  

Malik added that Prime-Minister designate Nawaz Sharif was keenly interested in steering the country out of crisis and he also had devised a plan for PIA.

Recalling PIA’s golden era, he said that it was the first airline in Asia that started serving meal to passengers during flights and added that it was also the first airline that introduced jet aircraft. 

   President MCCI, Muhammad Khan Sadozai, in his welcome address urged the PIA chairman to fly direct flights to England and Saudi Arabia from Multan besides enhancing Haj flights. Sadozai said that exporters of Multan especially mango exporters should be provided with space on priority.

He demanded the PIA chairman to increase domestic cargo flights as Multan exported a lion’s share of mangoes to international market.

Senior Vice president MCCI, Bakhtawar Tanvir Sheikh, extended the vote of thanks to the PIA chairman.

The PIA chairman was accompanied by GM Pax Sales,Ali Tahir, GM Cargo, Shahid Hussain Khoso and District Manager PIA, M.Ibrahim Khosa.