Adviser on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan has directed the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to take all steps crucial to bringing the airline to international standards in order to redeem its past glory.

Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan said there should be no compromise on safety and management should ensure that all decisions are taken on merit and in a transparent and efficient manner. PIACL Board Member, Syed Yawar Ali and Secretary Aviation and Acting Chairman PIACL Irfan Elahi were also present during the meeting.

While addressing the PIA management, he said that PIA is being supported from taxpayers; therefore every possible step should be taken to reduce its losses and improve profitability. He said that 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 for the problems being faced by PIA.

Recommendations were sought from the management for bringing about improvement in all departments of the airline.

According to the advisor to PM, the use of modern technology should be top priority for PIA and maximum funds invested in this area. He said existing systems should be improved, new systems developed and followed to bring about efficiency and productivity in all areas.

An overview on the working of various PIA departments was earlier on introduced by the CEO Bernard Hildenbrand, which was followed by individual presentations by Flight Operations, Fleet Planning, Marketing, Flight Safety, Engineering and Maintenance departments as well as PIA Training Centre.

In the course of his briefing, the CEO said that aviation is one of the most dynamic industries in the world and airlines have to keep pace with technological advancements all the time. He said PIA is 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 a SWOT analysis of the airline.

He said PIA plans 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. He further stated that our goal is to reach a stage of operational breakeven as soon as possible; as the biggest challenge being faced by PIA is the repayment of legacy loans.

It was also brought to the attention of the Advisor to PM that there are 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.