Pakistan International Airlines has not seen any sign of betterment. At the end of 2016, the airline took a loss of Rs. 40 billion, which is quite historically high for the national air carrier.
This was stated by Prime Minister’s Adviser for Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan. He was present along with Secretary Aviation and Chairman PIA Irfan Elahi in a media briefing with the newly appointed CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan also present.
Furthermore, Sardar Mehtab stated that the news about the missing PIA aircraft was not true. And that PIA is seeking joint ventures in its ground handling department.
Losses Continue to Pile Up
Sardar Mehtab told the media that PIA is going into loss every day, with bank loans mounting by every passing month. The year 2016 was the worst year in the history of PIA, he said.
“PIA suffered a Rs.40 billion loss during 2016. This year, the losses have shrunk, though they are still very high.
For that matter, PIA is taking loans to make up for the monthly losses. Without seeing significant change in PIA’s financial performance, the government will not pump in more money,” – Sardar Mehtab
News About Mising PIA Plane Not True
About the news of a PIA aircraft going missing, Sardar Mehtab told that the proceedings of the Senate Committee were misreported.
No PIA aircraft is missing or stolen
He said that the former PIA chief executive sold this aircraft. Since the deal was vague, FIA has been tasked with probing this deal.
“The aircraft under discussion is currently parked at a museum in Germany. PIA wishes to take its aircraft back, however, the museum demanded an aircraft parking fee which was higher than the aircraft’s value.
The management is looking into this matter and rest assured, the decision will be taken in favor of the airline,” Mehtab added.
About fleet induction, Sardar Mehtab said that PIA will be adding aircraft on lease. However, from next year PIA will add its own aircraft. About the choice of aircraft (Wide body or Narrow body), the aviation adviser told that right now a Boeing 777 was added but the new management will review fleet planning and come up with new ideas.
PIA is also changing its international flight policy with a focus on loss making routes, marketing and operational strategy. Instead of flying from different airports, PIA will make the Karachi the primary hub for west to east routes.
“The Karachi hub was tested for the Kuala Lumpur route. Instead operating flights from Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, now PIA only operated flights from Karachi successfully, with 5 flights every week instead of 4 flights from different airports with heavy losses,” Mehtab added.
Technical Support Department to Be Handed Over
Irfan Elahi confirmed the news ProPakistani published 2 months ago, stating that PIA’s Technical Support Department (TGS) will be handed over to some other company as a joint venture.
He said that TGS needs huge investment and modernization and that for this airline has no money. PIA currently invested Rs.500 million but it is still facing shortage for all kinds of equipment on all airports. This is why the management decided to take investment from the private sector for this department.
“Shortage of TGS equipment is causing operational delays and passenger discomfort. Therefore PIA has decided to bring some other party’s investment and management with a majority share of PIA. Term of References for the same are under consideration.” – Irfan Elahi