The national flag carrier PIA is in royal mess, where indiscipline is amok, those involved in irregularities get promoted, jobs are given in violation of merit, non-professionals made executives and its pilots have made a habit of blackmailing going on strike demanding fabulous salary hikes, while airline losses keep on escalating, with revenue pilferage accepted as routine. Half the fleet is grounded because of poor procurement contracts, while UK, a major revenue generator for PIA has to pay heavy fines amounting to millions of BP, because former MD in 2009 had formed a cartel with few travel agents, instead of promoting on-line sales.

PIA is a statutory organization making it mandatory on its management to conform to rules and universally accepted corporate ethics. Not conforming to Conflict of Interest by its executives has driven it to bankruptcy. A chief executive who also holds agency for sales and distribution of Airbus has been appointed by government. Failure and losses in PIA have become fate by choice, not an act of nature.

There are estimated to be over 200 employees in this overstaffed organization who have submitted fake qualifications, including their basic intermediate certificates, yet they are choice of management for promotion, foreign postings and executive assignments. Another 600 are ghost employees who seldom come to its head office. The pilot salary package and working conditions have gone haywire, because since 2008, their politically connected colleagues have been appointed as MD, Director Administration, Director Training, GM Ground Technical Support and even DMD etc. PIA’s human resources which once were its asset in times of Nur Khan, have become a liability. A retired major, who happens to be son-in-law of a former Chairman and Defense Minister in Musharraf era heads Marketing division, because of his political connections with former Kings Party called Patriots, who are now in PML(N). PIA’s obituary seems to be planned and unfortunate irony is that employee’s unions are busy making unacceptable demands, instead of realizing gravity of situation. They should now demand a transparent privatization so that PIA can once again rebound to its past glory.


Peshawar, October 7.