Reference to Anjum’s letter on PIA, I disagree with her. The unfortunate reality is that nothing has changed. It is still a white elephant riddled with incompetence, corruption, mediocrity, pilferage and is a drain on the tax payer. Political appointments have marred this organisation, especially it’s marketing, corporate planning and finance department. Revenue pilfering by nexus of travel agents and airline executives continues to erode PIA, while procurement of technical spares from companies of ill-repute has dented airline operations. Although PIA has fully functional automated Sales and Reservation system, over 95% of all ticket sales are through travel agents, leading to loss of clients.

Open sales boost revenues, while sales routed through travel agents retard growth, yet PIA under immense political pressure continues to give major share of ticket sales to travel agents, who have formed cartels, especially for Umrah and Hajj season, fleecing passengers and over charging them by creating artificial shortages. PIA employees continue to be used as conduit for money laundering by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats under patronage of controversial cronies appointed at helm. The rise in incidences of smuggling is because of mismanagement and failure to enforce discipline.

MAS, the national flag carrier of Malaysia was piling up losses, because of poor management and political interference in recruitment, award of contracts for procurement of technical spares and flight kitchen, and a management slave to its conflicts of interest. Two recent accidents and rising losses forced Malaysian Government to sack top management and appoint on 1 May Christoph Mueller, who had helped turn around Air Lingus, Belgium’s Sabena and Lufthansa, with full powers and no political interference.

He has terminated 20,000 employees of MAS with three months notice and fresh employment offers to 12,000 among them for recruitment in new company Malaysian Airlines Bhd which will start operation from September. Mueller plans to go lean and clean, selling off two A-380’ and cancelling all commercial contracts, GSA etc, enforcement of strict discipline and ensuring that 90% of all ticket sales are on-line, with zero tolerance for any ‘Conflict of Interest.’ This is how Asian Tigers deliver.

GULL ZAMAN,

Peshawar, June 20.