This is apropos media reports about PIA passengers being mishandled by airline staff, who allegedly paid for business class seats but were denied their preferred seats because the aircraft was a leased A320 with full economy seating. Those who blame PM Nawaz Shariff and his government need to evaluate that decadence of national airline started in 2002 when in spite of escalating oil prices, the airline balance sheet indicated breaking even with minimal losses. It was the corruption infected vultures who by 2008 had managed through their networking and political contacts cunningly maneuvered to be nominated as MD of PIA and DG CAA Pakistan. This government can only be blamed for not having political will to appoint qualified and experienced executives with integrity at the helm, but not for the over Rs230 billion accumulated losses it inherited and the corrupt mediocrity that dominated its executive corridors.

By the time PIA was handed to PML(N) in 2013, all prime time slots in the Gulf had been surrendered to advantage of airlines owned by Gulf states. Almost half PIA fleet was grounded because of gross irregularities in procurement of essential technical spares, while its human resources (which was once its asset) were eroded by burdening the already surplus employees of this loss. What else could be expected from the crony of AZ who had been earlier found guilty of grievous financial irregularities in recruitment by AVM Mushaf Ali Mir. PIA’s GSAs and GHAs all over its network were changed and replaced by parties with dubious background. Having purchased long range aircraft like B777, it was shocking when in the garb of code sharing the airline was to be reduced to become a spoke carrier of Turkish Airline; which were to take over all its routes to Europe, America and even key sectors in far east. PIA has lost millions of dollars in paying more than current market prices for leasing of aircraft and in the induction of B777, A320 etc because of the greed of its top executives.

G. ZAMAN,

Pehawar, June 30.