Leading associations of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) employees have voiced concern over expected hiring of retired Pakistan Air Force (PAF) employees in the airline, saying the government’s decision will further destabilise the national flag carrier.
Representatives of the Joint Action Committee of PIA Employees met recently to discuss this issue.
Presidents of seven associations that make up the Joint Action Committee said there were indications that the government was going to hire retired PAF employees in the airline on top positions from the managing director to other important slots.
Talking to The Express Tribune, General Secretary of the Society of Aircraft Engineers of Pakistan, Zakir Farooq, said the PIA employees were getting the impression that a number of retired PAF employees were going to be hired in the airline.
“Based on our previous experience, we can say that this decision will not help the airline,” he said. “PIA needs people who have an experience in commercial aviation.”
Farooq said PIA was a commercial airline that should be run by business-minded people who had some experience in commercial aviation. However, in case of PAF employees, that could not be expected owing to their experience of armed forces.
PIA spokesperson Sultan Hasan, however, said there was a complete ban on hiring in PIA. “No one is going to be hired in the airline,” he said.
He denied having knowledge of any such decision, but said it was up to the government to hire people in PIA.
According to PIA officials, rumours were doing the rounds that the outgoing PAF chief would take over as managing director of the airline and bring his new team comprising retired PAF employees.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2012.