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.