Free ride: PIA paying allowances to non-working pilots

Published: March 31, 2011
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Perks adding pressure on airline facing Rs2b loss.

Perks adding pressure on airline facing Rs2b loss.

KARACHI: 

Despite being in financial doldrums, Pakistan International Airlines is paying heavy allowances to non-working pilots including its former managing director Aijaz Haroon, adding to the Rs2 billion loss already incurred by the national carrier.

The allowances were approved by the former managing director in an agreement with Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (Palpa) according to which a pilot is to receive a 70-hour guarantee allowance amounting to Rs210,000 approximately. Three other captains benefitting from the allowance without doing any work include Captain Shuja Naqvi, Captain Abdullah Haroon and Captain Uroos Haqvi.

This is in addition to heavy losses being incurred by the airline which amounted to Rs2 billion in 2010 while the airline’s overall budget deficit has reached Rs90 billion. But despite this financial crisis, PIA is still following an agreement made with PALPA by a former managing director, which is inflicting huge costs in terms of the hotel stays and other allowances extended to the captains and the cabin crew. The pilots are paid $5 per hour on international routes and Rs125 when on domestic routes.

Palpa members had announced to contribute 10 per cent of their salaries to employees of the lower grade, while PIA employees have asked Palpa President Captain Sohail Baloch to get the 70-hour guarantee allowance cancelled. They have also asked him to make sure the cabin crew do not stay in five-star hotels abroad.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Mar 31, 2011 - 5:34PM

    Since leaving Pakistan in 1981 I have been flying PIA to visit the home land. In 2011 I have promised to myself that until its absolutely necessary I will not fly PIA, even if I have to pay a lot extra to fly a another airline. I flew PIA because I wanted the airline to benefit from my business but not any more now I wish that this airline is sold off so as they are unable to realize the commercial reality of doing business. Why did I come to this conclusion so here is my story; I took a flight from Manchester, UK to Islamabad on 24th of Dec 2010. Flight arrived late by over 4 hours at Manchester. We boarded the plane at around 10.00pm the doors were locked and we had to sit in the plane for another four hours. It got so late that the passengers were given dinner on the tarmac before the plane flew. The return flight was on the 9th of Jan.from Islamabad. We boarded the plane on time but had to sit on the plane for another 5 hours before we took off. I informed the crew that I have a connecting flight from Manchester and by being late I will not be able to make the connection and as the connecting flight is the last flight out of Manchester it will cause me serious difficulties. The crew payed no heed to my request. Guess why were the delays? The PIA crew was going slow and also from pilot to air stewards were all after extra hours i.e.overtime. I complained to PIA of these delays and got a reply back we are investigating. Did not hear from PIA for a while so wrote them back and wanted to know the outcome of investigation I am still waiting a reply from PIA. So now I call this airline as PATHETIC INCOMPETENT AWFUL (PIA), UN-GREAT FULL PEOPLE TO FLY WITH. This airline is not willing to improve its overall business model. She has become a drain on national resources I firmly believe that either it should be privatized or if not shut it down. There are many more options for people to fly to Pakistan and not get insulted or tortured by the PIA service on the route to a great country and my beloved homeland. We do not need pathetic service from pathetic PIA crew.Recommend

  • Waqar
    Apr 1, 2011 - 2:52AM

    @pardesi:
    Gosh, that must have been some ordeal for you! I feel you.

    We have traditionally used PIA for our flights from UK to Pakistan due to the direct routes it offered without any stopovers, even though we had to grip our teeth and bear their sub-standard service.

    However, the last flight from Manchester to Lahore my wife took alone with the children was the final nail in the coffin.
    Midair, the flight hit some serious turbulence that panicked my wife and children. When she asked one of the male stewards how long the turbulence was expected to last, she was answered in a low tone ‘Not to worry… I’ll hold your hand throughout the journey if you like’. Naturally, my wife was taken aback by his intimate comment.

    Several times, she asked for a steward to get some water for my youngest child, without any response. When she got up to make a complaint, the same steward who harassed her earlier told her to ‘quickly sit down, we are going to hit an air pocket’. There was no air pocket of course, he had merely said that to frighten her to get back to her seat. My wife could see from her seat that he was laughing with the male other stewards whilst glancing at her. They have no shame!

    We have now, opted to fly with Emirates from now on.

    PIA – TOO PROUD PEOPLE TO FLY WITH.Recommend

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