PIA Loses Billions Every Year Due to a Flawed Software

Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has been in hot waters due to their poor management of passengers. Scandals like the recent viral video of a woman crying for her infant’s life while on a PIA flight also hurt the national carrier’s reputation. However, in recent times, PIA’s reservation service software for domestic and international flights has become a heavy burden for the airline as it is now considered an unwanted accessory.

Source of Loss of Billions

PIA’s software has become a source of financial loss, according to several sources. A US company provides services for the maintenance of the flight management software ‘Saber’, PIA uses it for the reservation of tickets and boarding services for the last 17 years.

PIA first landed into a contract with ‘Saber’ through Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former chairman of PIA. During the era of MD Captain Ejaz Haroon, the agreement was renewed for another 10 years while prioritizing the agreement till 2030 via a special clause.


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However, PIA fleets have now been reduced to just 32 aircraft, down from 42 and the software had become a needless utility for the airline.

Furthermore, PIA is annually paying for the services the American company never provides. Sources have confirmed that the failure of Saber’s software system is due to small bugs which result in losses worth billions of rupees every few weeks. Just six days ago, yet another flight schedule was affected because of the faults in the software.

Legal Bindings

PIA wants to end the agreement since the original agreement included handling of estimated 60,000 passengers and 42 aircraft but the fleets have now been reduced to 32 and the passengers have been decreasing drastically day by day. However, there is no clause in the agreement about its termination.

The national airline wants to enter into an agreement with a Turkish company and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Turkish service providers in 2017 and finalized the agreement in the current year.

However, PIA is unable to get rid of Saber due to the legal binding of the contract. The issue is being looked at in the higher courts. According to many officials, once PIA is free from Saber it will save billions of rupees annually.


  • AirBlue K Maaalik Ne PIA Ko Khud Pahnsa Diya : RIP

    • Ali Salman

      Dear Abdul Wahab,

      Welcome back bro (with your mostly dumb comments).

      Any Service Level Agreement (SLA) signed for providing support doesn’t mean provider will do something every day. Such agreements are to ensure that software/website will be up and running at a certain up-time. If all is well no matter provider did nothing over the year, client has to pay.

      But writer has mentioned that company was paid without doing anything shows his lack of knowledge on contractual side especially on SLAs.

      2nd it is implied that it was procured through Shahid Khan Abbasi but ensuring I am certain Abbasi wasn’t the one who did technical evaluation to select this software, those who didn’t raise it with the company, did not demand damages from the company or selected a replacement if issues were faced are actually responsible.

      Billions? No estimates? 2 billions or 2000000 ? Another low grade story..

      • Mohsin

        I agree, why bother, who did that, who cares. Just as long SLAs are being meet and monitored by patriots from procurement departments of private sector such as you. Again, its not the fault of elected Govt, PM or any person who was in charge. Lets keep sleeping on that. Because it is convenient.

    • I hate travel agents

      First check your facts then comment. This is difference you and us. Usage of mind/ intellect does not harm and most importantly it is free of cost.

  • Pakistan Ki Koi Bhi IT Company Aise Software Bana K Link Laga K Kaam He Nahi Karti : Wah

  • Swiss-AS AMOS Software Using By
    Kuwait AirlLine
    Eithad AirlLine
    Russian AirlLine
    Turkaminstan AirlLine
    South American AirlLine
    Philippine AirLine
    Japan AirLine
    Lufthansa AirLine
    Oman AirLine
    Swiss AirLine

    Still to using 17 Years Old Model SABRE Software :

    • DS

      Mr. Abdul Wahab! PIA is down because of its management. I check about Sabre and if it is there fault why other major carriers are using the same system.

      Sabre Global Distribution System, owned by Sabre Holdings, is used by travel agents around the world with more than 400 airlines, 220,000 hotels, 42 car rental brands, 38 rail providers and 17 cruise lines. The Sabre GDS enables companies such as American Airlines to search, price, book, and ticket travel services provided by airlines, hotels, car rental companies, rail providers and tour operators.

      Sabre Holdings aggregates airlines, hotels, online and offline travel agents and travel buyers. The company is organized into three business units:

      Sabre Travel Network: global distribution system
      Sabre Airline Solutions: airline technology
      Sabre Hospitality Solutions: hotel technology solutions
      The company is headquartered in Southlake, Texas, and has employees in various locations around the world.

    • Tech Boy

      Swiss-AS AMOS is not a distribution software and Etihad is using Sabre.

  • I hate travel agents

    This is what happens when you pay low to your pseudo reporters. They don’t know their job, they don’t research their top and most importantly they can’t distinguish facts from fiction.

    This change was infact made by Ahmed Saeed who was undoubtedly corrupt. Besides giving contract for new uniform (shoes for all staff members) to his son, he received multiple kick backs and the possibility of receiving kick backs on this one is out of question.

    For those who may not know what software is being discussed here, it is made by Sabre Corporation (Not Saber as spelled by pseudo reporter) They offer a suite of softwares which provides access to airline’s inventory to travel agents (GDS), maintains, departure control (DCS) and other softwares (Forecasting, marketing & planning) and many more which are beyond the scope.

    The contract was made between PIA and Abacus (which was owned by 11 Asian airlines and only 35% shares were with Sabre.) In 2015 Sabre agreed to purchase 100% shares from these 11 airlines and thereafter Abacus (which was already developed by Sabre but used in Non Sabre markets such as South Asia and South East Asia).

    The piece of crap presented here does not reveal any evidence nor even discusses the so called “flaw” in the software.

    This clearly indicates the malafide intent of the pseudo reporter and that of Propakistani.

    Lastly if Propakistani does not cease immediately from such crap, I will place embargo just like I placed embrago on DAWN Newspaper 18 years ago and The Express Tribune (8 years ago).

    • Wali Khan

      PIA staff is blaming Sabre to purchase new software and get kickback.

  • I hate travel agents

    Perhaps the person who divulged information to this pseudo reporter desires to spend Billions of Rupees on purchasing and training of a new software (for which they would definitely have received kick backs).

    By the way Troya is not superior to Sabre, Sabre is much better and world’s leading suite of softwares.

  • Zeeshan Rafique

    Dear Writer,
    Although I got the whole idea of what you wanted to communicate to the readers but I was unable to understand when the American company was not giving the services so how small bugs resulted in losses of billions and what is the source ?

  • Shehzad_6

    Thanks to Hazir Service Air force personnel sitting at PIA procurements on deputation on 7 digit salaries and enjoying kick backs as well.
    Whole PIA aircraft airworthy Airbus 310 sold for peanuts to Germany by a deputed fauji and he walked away peacefully and with impunity back to air force without being prosecuted.
    Lagey raho Munna Bhai (awam),,, truck ki batti ke peechey…

    • Wali Khan

      mooj karo aur badnaam karo siasatdanoon ko