The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to spend Rs. 915 million on salary increases for its pilots, a notification from Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) has revealed.
The said notification says, “The aviation secretary was convinced that the increment of Rs 915 million (per annum) was based upon restructuring 75 hours guaranteed with 10 days off in a month and not linked to any fixed percentage, therefore he assured PALPA Executive Committee that he would do the needful for the implementation of the same through the board of directors and Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL).”
Reportedly, the national airline was paying the pilots 50 guaranteed flying hours previously, which depended upon their average utilization standing around 43 to 45 hours per months.
However, presently, the flight schedules of the flag carrier and the number of aircraft fleet that is properly operational have declined with the number of pilots remaining the same. The decline in flight schedules and aircraft has decreased the average utilization as well, making it 28 to 30 hours.
The increase in guaranteed hours to 75 will take a huge toll on the already loss-making flag carrier. The experts criticize this step and state that this money could be used for upgrading or changing of Inflight Entertainment System (IFES), which has become obsolete at the moment.
The common practice is to upgrade or change the IFES system after every four to five years, which has not been the case with the national airline.
Exorbitant Salaries Paid to Managing Personnel
Furthermore, the special audit 2008 to 2017 has revealed the hefty salaries being received by the PIA Investment Limited (PIAL) managing director and other employees.
As per the document pertaining to the audit, “It was observed that an amount of $5.869 million was paid by the management of PIAIL on account of remuneration to employees, post-employment benefit, and bonus to director…”
The document further stated that the employees belonging to the key management had been receiving compensation worth of $195,378 in 2007. By 2012, it reached $546,553.
Moreover, in 2017, the amount had reached $811,581, which manifested a 315 percent rise in 10 years.
Not only this but the PIAL MD Najeeb Samir, who retired in July 2016, has continued working on a two-year contract, which upon expiry, was renewed for another two years. The document maintained that the appointment did not comply with the government instructions.