LAHORE - PIA’s financial crisis has deepened as the airline has failed to pay salaries to many of its officials so far.

The PIA staff was happy with removal of former CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan through a Supreme Court order because they believed that Cyan and his team brought the PIA to the verge of collapse. Airline employees were hopeful that the situation would improve and the airline would get back on the track with the appointment of new CEO, but the situation went from bad to worse. Apart from salary, there are many other issues that need to be settled.

The chief justice of Pakistan had reviewed performance of PIA over the past 10 years and ordered a special audit. During the review, it was highlighted that the last government had appointed a person to the PIA who did not have any aviation experience. The Supreme Court termed his appointment illegal and sent the case to the NAB for investigation into irregularities and misconduct in appointment. After removal of Cyan, the government gave charge of the PIA CEO to Aviation Secretary Saqib Aziz, who also was chairman of PIA BoD by virtue of being the aviation secretary.

He was also heading Civil Aviation Authority, ASF & MET office, virtually giving control of civil aviation administration in Pakistan into hands of one person giving rise to conflict of interest by having all feathers in one cap. Later, most surprisingly, the new government appointed air Marshal (AM) Arshad Malik as the new president & CEO of PIA bypassing the SECP approved procedure of appointing heads of Public Sector organizations. Appointment of new CEO PIA was also against the decision of Supreme Court in Cyan’s case as the former too has no Commercial Aviation experience.

The national flag carrier has 18,000 employees and when they would not be paid salaries on time their families would suffer.

PIA spokesperson Mashhud Tajwar said that salary had been paid to employees and officers would be paid this week. He said that reason for delay in salaries heavy payments to some vendors by the PIA. Talking about appointment of the CEO, he said he was a qualified person and had relevant experience.