ISLAMABAD: A special parliamentary panel on Wednesday disapproved of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)'s decision to sell its aircraft to a German museum, stating that it was in violation of rules.
Demanding a report on the matter from the national carrier, the committee said PIA flights were being flown through Germany because the CEO belonged to the country, and that the sale of Airbus A-310 was an 'irregular' deal.
PIA 'illegally' sold A-310 aircraft to German company: PPP senator
PPP last year submitted a calling attention notice in the Senate against the "illegal sale" of a PIAaircraft to a German company. PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwalla said in a statement that PIA A-310 aircraft had been sold without award of a tender and it had been handed over to the German company long before even opening of the tender for the favourites.
According to the senator, the airplane was flight worthy and an authentic certificate was issued before it went to Malta for the shoot of a movie. Later on, the airplane was sent to a German museum.
The panel, which came together to discuss the performance of PIA, stated that corruption, political intervention and several structural flaws have led to the decline of the national flag carrier, further blaming successive governments for their share in ‘destroying’ what was once the best national asset of the country.
The committee recommended immediate dissolution of PIA’s Board of Directors (BoDs) as it comprised of members with no professional or relevant experience, adding that several directors were withdrawing millions of salaries, without having been fulfilling their designated roles for over a year.
The panel also discussed its three-member sub committee’s report, which, after in-depth interviews and meetings with current and former PIA staffers, recommended several solutions other than pointing out serious issues that needed attention for its survival. The sub-committee comprised of Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah as its convener, Farhatullah Babar and Lt General (retired) Abdul Qayyum as members.
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Babar, who shared the findings and recommendations of the report, said the current BoDs was defective and its composition needed reconstitution. For stable performance of PIA, Babar recommended that there should be a permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the airlines.
"There should be a rationalised salary structure as some directors are withdrawing salaries in millions, with no input," he said. Meanwhile, the committee’s chairperson Mushahidullah Khan said, “There are many such staffers who are doing nothing but earning millions.”
PIA staffers were left speechless when questioned about flight schedules and why foreigners were being appointed in the national flag carrier. "Once the best airline of the country, has now become the worst,” Colonel (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said.
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