ISLAMABAD  - PIA Chairman Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Rao Qamar Suleman has said that the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will put in place the turnaround plan and a five-year financial model in the coming months.

Addressing the shareholders during the 55th Annual General Meeting held here, he said the national flag carrier despite many challenges added new destinations including Zahedan, Colombo and Madina during the last year. Rao Qamar Suleman said that in the face of competition, PIA managed to retain its international market share of 39 percent and increased its domestic market share to 76 percent from 74 percent of last year. During 2011, slow economic growth in developed states placed pressure on aviation business. International travel growth remained depressed across regions, he added.

He said the outgoing year witnessed an increase in average jet fuel price from USD 80 per barrel in 2010 to USD 110 per barrel in 2011. The PIA was exposed to volatility in the price of jet fuel. He said the PIA commenced work on the development of a comprehensive business restructuring and turnaround plan to set in place the right strategies and controls needed to bring the corporation back on the path of profitable operations.

He said the PIA had signed a purchase agreement with Boeing Company for acquisition of five Boeing 777 aircraft.

He said the corporation also planned to induct narrow body aircraft to augment capacity and bring efficiency. A focused approach to customer service will greatly help PIA return to profitability, he added.

He expressed confidence that with the support of Federal Government, the valued Shareholders and a dedicated PIA family, will overcome the challenges and InshaAllah will be in a position to turnaround PIA.

 PIA shareholders enthusiastically participated at the 55th AGM and put forth their suggestions and searching queries for turning around the National Airline.

A PIA shareholder Qadir Memon welcomed the appointment of Chairman and CEO, Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Rao Qamar Suleman and presented a bouquet, traditional Sindhi cap and Ajrak on the occasion.