ISLAMABAD - National Carrier - Pakistan International Airline (PIA) is in process of finalizing its Strategic Business Plan 2019-22 which defines objectives and strategies to improve performance.

The Plan is expected to be submitted to the Federal governmentin March or April this year.

Sources at Aviation Division while enumerating steps taken to improve its performance on Sunday said several profitable new routes like Sialkot-Sharjah, Lahore-Muscat, Islamabad-Doha and Lahore-Bangkok-Kualalampur have been added. These routes are going very strong and are economically viable.

The sources said more new routes have been planned which will commence soon. These include Sialkot-Paris-Barcelona, Peshawar-Sharjah, Peshawar-Al- Ain and Multan-Sharjah.

The other steps were to increasing frequencies and capacity on profitable routes like Jeddah and Madinah, closure of loss making routes like New York, Salalah (Oman), Kuwait, Mumbai and Tokyo, replacing the 20 years old and highly expensive software system with new one (HITIT) which is very cost effective, cheaper and more efficient and terminating extra and ghost employees (around 200).

The sources said an effective austerity and cost saving drive has been initiated which included curtailment of unnecessary visits by officials both foreign and domestic and instructions were issued to make use of technological  assistance like video calls, conference calls etc.

Some other measures adopted included retrieving company vehicles and eliminating fuel allocations accordingly, stoppage of all officiating and extra allowances given on additional assignments to officials, ban on overtime allowances in all cadres.

Whereas, abolishing VIP protocols and deployment of workers on  real assignments, monitoring of flights by senior officials, increasing regularity and punctuality of flights by assigning target to be achieved 90 percent and resolving issues pertaining to usage of flight plans which involve reduction of short flight paths thus resulting in huge savings in fuel expenses were also included.

The management of national carrier also ensured reduction in public relation and brand activities by cutting down on advertisements and making more effective use of news and social media, abolished all kinds of discounts, rebates and free tickets while punctuality and attendance being strictly monitored for maximum productivity which also results in saving of electricity and other utility expenses.

The sources said performance was also being evaluated on basis of achieving targets.

The sources said effective liaison has been implemented among all departments especially, finance, engineering and supply chain to have more aircraft in operation which help in expanding the network and flights.

In addition, the optimized use of aircraft is also being ensured to achieve maximum productivity and financial returns.

The improvement in flight services, training of crew and regular monitoring, streamlining the business activities and discipline at Airport Hotel which was going in losses and now revenues are improving, effective monitoring and vigilance of all areas to eliminate pilferage and leakages and improvement  in food quality with inclusion of refined menu in light of recommendations and suggestions received from passengers were the other steps taken.

Some other measures adopted included introduction of executive economy class on European and Gulf sectors which are attracting more customers, rationalization of fares according to market demand thus helping in increase of seat factor, delays of flights have been cut down significantly by better planning in engineering, flight operation and ground handling departments.

Special emphasis on cargo business with monitoring of  performance, rationalization of cargo fares and more effective  liaison with all stakeholders, special focus on Umrah and Ziarat  business by introduction of attractive fares and increasing  capacity, and complaint/feed back system which is being used  to ensure quality services, redressal of problems and for  bringing overall improvement in the system.