The acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Bernd Hildenbrand, was relieved of his duties, on Saturday, with PIA’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nayyar Hayat taking over as acting CEO in his stead, said a PIA statement.
“This has approval of the competent authority,” read the notification by PIA’s chief human resource officer.
According to sources, Bernd, who is a German national, is under investigation on various charges of corruption.
“PIA had acquired a plane from Sri Lankan Airlines at $8,000 per hour, while another airline had acquired the same type of plane at $4,000 per hour,” said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar in press briefing in March.
He is also being investigated for selling a PIA aircraft at a low price to a German museum. It is believed that he himself bought the aircraft, an FIA official told The Express Tribune last month.
Amid investigations and so many other issues linked to Bernd, PIA invited applications for a new CEO and chief operating commercial officer/director marketing in March through a tender.
Bernd remains a controversial figure since his appointment and was also barred from travelling abroad owing to the charges he was facing. The interior minister confirmed that the name of the acting CEO had been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).
However, FIA Deputy Director Admin Lahore, Khawaja Hammadur Rehman, has clarified that the acting CEO’s name was briefly put on the ECL after his visa had expired. His name on ECL has nothing to do with the investigation under way, he added.
In an announcement on Friday, the new acting CEO of PIA, Nayyar Hayat said that regaining market share on domestic and international routes and improving seat factor on its flights is the top priority for the airline’s management.
He announced this while addressing a ceremony to give awards to top PSAs and IATA agents of Karachi region.
He also mentioned that starting April 25, PIA will be introducing the option of daily travel between Karachi and London to provide its customers more travel-time flexibility.
Hayat joined the airline on the post of CFO in September 2011, according to his LinkedIn page.