LAHORE - Spokesman Joint Action Committee of PIA employees while welcoming the prospects of a stable government under Mian Nawaz Sharif has appealed the new government to bring stability and sanity in PIA which has seen 12 organisational heads in last 13 years.

“You cannot run a professional and highly sophisticated organisation by changing its heads so frequently on the whims of the rulers,” he said, adding that most painful aspect of these changes was that political affiliation took preference over merit.

He said that PIA is now at the verge of collapse due to shortsighted policies of past 13 years. “It was once the pride national carrier of Pakistan that has been ruined,” he added.

The spokesman said that in the larger interest of aviation industry in Pakistan, the dynamic open sky policy introduced by Govt in 1993 should be reviewed and revived in letter and spirit to promote aviation in Pakistan.

He said that the airlines that were launched with the assistance of PIA in 1980’s are now among the top passenger carriers of the world. “PIA can regain the lost glory with merit based appointments from top to lowest level,” he asserted. He said that the new government would have to appoint a competent head at the airline who should possess the skills and the commitment to take it out of troubles.

He said that if merit prevails and accountability at all levels is ensured, PIA could be turned around in two years time. The new government, he added, should refrain from appointing non-professionals because the airline basically needs an aviation expert with both financial and marketing background, who has the ability to cut costs, improve efficiencies both in the operational and marketing fields. He should be free of any political influence and could execute difficult but prudent decisions without fear or favour.

The spokesman said that whosoever is appointed on merit by the Govt to run the airline, should be given a bailout package to provide a breathing space till the management carves out a business strategy to not only turnaround the airline but also to do away with the loses and financial debt accumulated during last few years.

He also urged the incoming Govt to follow the merit criteria while appointing a new board of directors to professionally overlook the airline’s progress and provide guidance to the management in policy matters.

He suggested that employees’ representation on the board of directors should also be looked into favourably as this can further boost the employees morale and the board can be upraised of grass root level issues directly.

The spokesman while reiterating all employees’ unions and associations support, hoped that the new government will not repeat the mistakes committed by Musharraf and PPP regimes and break away from the status quo to a dynamic out of box approach to reintroduce the slogan of PIA ‘The great people to fly with’.