PIA facing Rs6b loss every month, PM told

Imran Khan lays stress on using flag carrier’s assets in a judicious manner


​ Our Correspondent June 08, 2020
Imran Khan lays stress on using flag carrier’s assets in a judicious manner PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The chief executive officer of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has said the national flag carrier is facing a loss of Rs6 billion every month due to travel restrictions imposed by a number of countries in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

“A sum of Rs24 billion is being spent yearly alone on payment of salaries to the PIA’s 14,500 employees,” CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik said on Monday while briefing Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was chairing a meeting on the reforms and restructuring of the national airline.

Malik also informed the prime minister about progress in the investigation into the May 22 plane crash in Karachi, handing over of bodies and payment of compensation to the heirs of plane crash victims.

A PIA aircraft, flying from Lahore to Karachi, crashed near the port city’s airport in the densely populated area of Model Colony. The flight had 99 passengers and eight crew members on board at the time of the incident. The crash caused significant damage in the residential area.

The CEO also presented a timeline for PIA’s restructuring and a comprehensive roadmap for reforms and their implementation.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said it is imperative to expedite restructuring and reforms process in the PIA, which has been running into billions of rupees loss on monthly basis.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s economy is facing difficulties. People as well as state-owned entities have to bear the burden of billions of rupees loss on monthly basis,” he said.

The prime minister laid stress on bringing down expenditures of the organization, focusing on increasing its income and financial resources and upgrading its fleet.

He also directed the PIA chief to pay special attention to utilizing the PIA owned domestic and foreign assets in a completely transparent manner. “The assets should create financial resources for the organization instead of becoming a burden on the general public,” he observed.

The PIA chief said during the last 12 years, ten heads of the organization were changed. He said due to legal cases, he also could not carry out his duties for a period of three months. Due to such issues, the reforms process in the organization has badly suffered, he added.

Arshad Malik also gave a detailed briefing on the restructuring, improvement in the financial discipline, better and effective utilization of the PIA’s assets, and strategy over other related issues.

Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar, Minister for Information Shibli Faraz, Adviser to PM on Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant to the PM on Information Lt Gen (retd) Asim Salim Bajwa were among those who attended the meeting.

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