PIA and Pilot Association’s Latest Dispute Could Impact Hajj Flights

The dispute between PIA management and Pilots association has surfaced again and if this matter is not resolve soon, it could harm upcoming Hajj operations, ProPakistani has learned.

Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) blames airline management for not fulfilling the pay increase agreement in letter and spirit. PIA’s management has cut pilots pay by up to 19 percent but still forces them to fly for 12 hours.

PALPA says that on May 31, 2016 PIA management issued admin order #07/2016 and salary for pilots increased with the condition of 75 hours guaranteed flying in 10 days. This increased cockpit crew duty hour time up 12 hours from 10 hours. As per CCA rules, pilots can fly maximum 12 hours per flight.

The impact of this move on the airline budget was Rs914 million per-year but after some months, pilot salaries were cut by up to 19 percent thus reducing impact on budget to Rs.809 million.

PALPA says that if airline is not going to provide the agreed upon salary, there’s no point to flying upon the agreed upon hours either. PALPA will revert to the previous agreement and pilots will fly 10 hours at most until full salaries are given.

If this matter is not resolved soon, it will affect the airline normal operations as well as Hajj operations because PIA has already planned Hajj flights keeping the 12 hours schedule in mind.

PALPA, after getting no response from management, wrote a letter to Chairman PIA and presented its case. In this letter, PALPA accused PIA management of violating agreed term and conditions and addressed the following points.

  1. Unilateral deduction of 19 pc from the gross salaries of all pilots as stated in Admin Order #07/2016 dated May 31, 2016
  2. Salary disbursement is made in two parts, whereas , the second part of the salary is not accompanied by any salary slip.
  3. Re-induction of A-310 aircraft into PIACL fleet whereas, the said aircraft was declared redundant effective 31 December 2016, as of this the regular promotions on B-777 has been denied.
  4. Denial of Night Credit and Supernumerary travel till date.
  5. Block times are tailored to meet the ANO requirements. However, actual duty time falls outside the ambit of the ANO, hence violating the law, creating a flight safety hazard and affecting the health of the flight the crew. The severity of this issue is of such an extent that even management pilots are also affected.
  6. Unilaterally changing and down-grading the hotels without technical evaluation conducted by PALPA representative as per PALPA-PIACL working agreement 2011-2013
  7. No methodology has been devised yet to place first officer of B-777 as captain of A-320.
  8. Acute shortage of cockpit crew on B-777 creating extra flying beyond 75 hours and utilizing their off days, resulting in heavy financial impact on the national exchequer.

According to PALPA Secretary Khalid Khan, PIA management and other higher officials are not willing to talk on this matter. “If pilots go by the book and flight operations are impacted, PALPA will be blamed for the discomfort customers will have to face.”