KARACHI - Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan has directed the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) management to take all steps necessary to bring the airline at par with international standards so that it could regain its past glory. 

This he stated during his visit to PIA headquarters on Tuesday.

Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan said there should be no compromise on the safety and management, and it should be ensured that all decisions are taken on merit and in a transparent and efficient manner.  Addressing the PIA management, he said that PIA was run on taxpayers’ kitty; therefore every possible step should be taken to reduce its losses and improve profitability.  “The government has come to the rescue of the national flag carrier many a times, and there is a dire need for a concrete solution to the problems being faced by PIA,” he underscored.

He sought recommendations from the management for bringing about improvement in all departments of the airline. Adviser to PM further said that use of modern technology should be the top priority for PIA and maximum funds should be invested in this area.

He said existing systems should be improved, new systems developed to bring about efficiency and productivity in all areas.

Earlier, CEO Bernd Hildenbrand presented an overview on the working of various PIA departments, which was followed by individual presentations by Flight Operations, Fleet Planning, Marketing, Flight Safety, Engineering and Maintenance departments as well as PIA Training Center. Remaining departments would deliver their presentations on Wednesday. 

During his briefing, the CEO said that aviation was one of the most dynamic industries in the world and airlines had to stay abreast with the technological advancements all the time. He said PIA was part of the legacy carriers, some of which disappeared because they did not adapt to the changing environment.

He talked about the challenges being faced by PIA and gave an analysis of the national flag carrier.

He informed that PIA planned to add more narrow and wide body aircraft this year. “PIA plans to add more destinations in the months to come and increase frequency on existing profitable routes,” he said.

The CEO further said, “Our goal is to reach a stage of operational break as soon as possible.” He added the biggest challenge being faced by PIA was the repayment of legacy loans.  The adviser to PM was also informed about improved regularity and punctuality as well as the initiatives taken for aircraft cabin cleanliness, providing better in-flight menu and expansion of network.

He was informed that last year 1.1 million more passengers travelled on PIA as compared to 2015, while PIA’s domestic market share increased by 19% and international by 3% during this period. PIACL Board Member Syed Yawar Ali and Secretary Aviation and Acting Chairman PIACL Muhammad Irfan Elahi were also present during the meeting.