PIA is incurring losses of Rs5.6 billion per month while its total liabilities have crossed the mark of Rs. 300 billion, revealed PIA officials during a parliamentary standing committee meeting today.
According a statement made by the PIA management “These expenses include over Rs 4.4 billion in loan and mark-up repayments, over Rs 2.6 billion in fuel and over Rs 1.6 billion in salaries”
The total liability of Rs 300 billion consists of Rs 186 billion of bank loans, Rs 40 billion of Civil Aviation Authority charges/ dues, Rs 13. 5 billion of charges owed to the Pakistan State Oil and over Rs 4.5 billion owed to the Federal Bureau of Revenue.”
The three-member committee which was assigned to review PIA’s performance included Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, General Abdul Qayoom of the PML-Nawaz and Farhatullah Babar of the Pakistan People’s Party.
After hearing PIA’s alarming economic situation, PIA was asked many questions by the committee as to why the airline was performing like so. They asked about how such a huge loss had been accumulated, under whose authority did the situation get this bad, and why the PIA management was doing nothing to better this situation.
The committee members also brought up the topic about how the board of directors of PIA didn’t have proper education or training regarding aviation management.
Shah questioned PIA about how the airline can expect to improve affairs when there are unqualified people directing it. He further directed the management of PIA to review the required qualification and experience for becoming a director in PIA along with portfolios of the incumbent directors.
Later on, the committee members questioned the management about why a PIA aircraft was leased for a foreign firm for filming in Malta and was later sold for €50,000. He asked why was there no explanation given regarding this case. Senator Qayoom expressed disappointment on the attitude of the management and its lack of input during the briefing.
Bernd Hildenbrand, CEO of PIA said that the poor performance of the airline was because of poor aviation policies.
He said that PIA’s fleet was aged and was no longer capable of competing with other International Airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad, etc.
He further added that PIA has managed to gain more passengers and generate more revenue even though it’s facing a dire situation.