Pakistan International Airline (PIA) issued 803 free tickets to different people during the period of three years; from June 2016 to July 2018.
The free tickets cost the crisis-hit nation flag carrier Rs 18.297 million.
The information regarding the free tickets was shared with Senate’s Standing Committee on Aviation during its meeting by the Ministry of Aviation Divison.
The question was raised by Senator Chaudhry Tanveer during recent Senate’s session, which was referred to the Committee for consideration by the chair.
The Aviation Division shared a complete list of the recipients of the free tickets and the destinations they travelled to (both domestic and international).
The national flag carrier not only gave free tickets for domestic travels but also extended the facility on the internal routes.
A grooming specialist Tariq Amin appeared to be the frequent traveller with the national flag carrier for free. The purpose of his travel shared by the Ministry has been ‘new grooming technique’.
Other grooming specialists such as Ms Saima Asif and Yamin Ugurlu/Korey also travelled for free through the national carrier for the purpose of ‘grooming technique’.
The airline also took another grooming specialist namely Yasmeen Sheikh to London from Karachi and brought her back to Karachi free of cost for what has been shared as ‘flight services grooming’.
The free travel facility was also availed by the social media team of the airline frequently both on the domestic and international routes for ‘image building’. But despite spending such resources and having a dedicated social media team there seems to be no improvement in the image of the flag carrier.
The most travelled person for free through PIA was Ahmed Rauf, the legal consultant of the airline. However, he travelled to the domestic destinations with Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi being the frequently-travelled places.
His frequent travel is understandable given the fact he has to represent the airline in different courts across the country.