President and CEO, Dr. Musharraf Rasool Cyan, held an open and in-depth conversation with bloggers in Islamabad. The session started with Dr. Cyan sharing that Pakistan International Airlines has kept the promise they made in V1, the first phase of change for the better, and achieved all the targets that were laid out for the six months.
He also shared that they were now geared for the next phase VR, readying themselves for takeoff, in the next two years or earlier. The Chief of HR, GM Marketing, and Head of Brands also joined the CEO for the session. They added voice to the commitment of PIA to improve and become one of the top airlines.
During the dialogue, the CEO shared that PIA was facing challenges that have been accumulating over decades. There are many things, big and small, that need to be improved and improved consistently. Along with improving services, a change of work culture is also needed to have the airline working like a world-class corporate. He shared that it is a long and challenging journey, but the senior management is fully committed to doing all it takes to turn around PIA and take it towards new heights. Support from all quarters will be essential to make PIA profitable again.
It is in this spirit, that the team set out to achieve the V1 initiative, which included refurbishment and cleanliness of the aircraft interiors; improving the quality of food and the menu changing every month and adding exotic drinks for the business class passengers; ensuring aircrafts are fully operational; SAFA approved safety standards; achieving 93% schedule reliability; increase in excess baggage and cargo revenue ; increased focus on cabin crew services with new fresh crew and refresher trainings. All of this along with marketing efforts led to an increase in sales in the first quarter of the year by 7% compared to same time last year.
V1 is symbolic as it is the velocity at which the airplane reaches and the pilot makes a decision on whether the plane will take off or abandon the flight. After successfully achieving all the targets, it is clear that PIA is now ready to shift its speed to VR and move towards taking off. VR is the speed at which the aircraft takes off and to achieve this, the management has outlined improvements in services and work culture to be completed in the next two to three years. These include, nose to tail revamp of aircraft, new cabin interiors, including Business Class flatbeds, upgraded in-flight entertainment systems, additional fleet, new website, improved customer service systems, and additional routes and destinations among others, while further improving all aspects of the airline services and culture change within PIA.