PM orders top flight services for PIA's new subsidiary airline

Accepts long-pending resignation of aviation aide Shujaat Azeem

Our Correspondent April 09, 2016


Almost two months after the inception of Pakistan Airways, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed his deputies to ensure top flight services in the newly founded airline company.

The premier gave the directions while chairing a meeting on the affairs of the ailing Pakistan International Airlines at the PM House on Friday. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Aviation Secretary Irfan Elahi, among other senior officials.

Pakistan Airways to be brought at par with international airlines: PM

The federal government registered Pakistan Airways Limited (PAL) on February 19 as an independent firm with an authorised capital of Rs100 billion parallel to the national flag carrier. The company is said to have been renamed Premier Airways.

At the meeting, PM Nawaz was briefed about the affairs of Premier Airways particularly the steps proposed related to human resource.

The premier directed the officials to ensure hiring the best available cabin crew and first-rate catering services for the new airline in order to achieve high service standards.

PIA rising again?

About the domestic market share of PIA, the PM was informed the national airline’s share had increased from 47% to 58% during March this year as compared to the same month last year. The international market share of the airline also increased from 23% to 27% as compared to the last year.

Average daily departures have risen from 94 flights in March 2015 to 121 flights in March 2016. Moreover, 71 Umrah flights were operated in March against the 27 in the same period last year.

The airline carried 508,453 passengers in March this year as compared to 414,392 passengers in last March, registering a growth of 23%.

Pakistan Airways registered as PIA subsidiary

The PM was told that a “New Lean Organisation Structure” has been approved by the PIA Board of Directors while the airline’s Central Reservation Control (CRC) has been shifted from Karachi to Islamabad with fully automated systems to curb inventory abuse.

Resignation accepted

Meanwhile, PM Nawaz also accepted the resignation of Capt (retd) Shujaat Azeem as the aviation adviser which had been pending since December 2015.

Azeem, who had been working on an honorary basis for two years, resigned citing work restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court as the reason.

Lauding the services of Azeem, the PM praised the steps taken by him for the promotion of aviation in the country. He especially commended him on the progress made in the revival of PIA and the vast improvements at airports across Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2016.