The real issues that confront PIA and its subsidiary PIA Investment are gross mismanagement, massive pilferage, political interference, conflict of interest and a nexus of national airline’s marketing and procurement division with travel agents and vendors, resulting in formation of cartels to the disadvantage of airline and passengers. Appointment of corrupt political cronies to head PIA and its subsidiary has resulted in massive losses and revenue depletion. What else could be expected if PIA is headed by an overage foreign passport holding officer declared bank loan defaulter, drawing a very hefty salary.

It is an airline which for the past over 6 six years is being run by semi literate political cronies, who although qualified for commercial pilots, lack basic managerial skills, with controversies of administrative and financial indiscipline surrounding them. PIA is an airline which has surplus pilots, engineers, technicians, salesmen, accountants etc, and an airline with a fast diminishing fleet strength, which for the past three years averages around 25 aircraft. Yet present management in its wisdom has appointed a committee dominated by unions, who have suggested to raise ‘Age of Utilization’ for pilots to 65 years, in an airline which already has over 621 operational pilots, with another over 250 trainee pilots recruited during past five years drawing stipends waiting for absorption, with no hopes for utilization in near future.

PIA and PIA-IL need to be handed over to professionally qualified management with integrity, free from political interference. Both require a massive change in face, especially PIA, if it hopes to regain its lost ethnic clients, of which there is abundance. All that is needed is a massive clean-up operation, which is possible by handing it over to a private party of repute acquiring 26% share holding. However it must be ensured that a politically powerful private airline owner has no role in deciding the fate and policies of PIA, because of conflict of interest. The other option is complete liquidation and shut down or sell off to a foreign airline willing to bear load of liabilities.

SYED JAWAID HUSSAIN,

Multan, November 27.