Minister to overhaul national flag carrier

Says Employees’ Pension Fund Trust is here to stay


APP October 01, 2022
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. PHOTO: File

ISLAMABAD:

Minister for Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique on Friday informed the Senate that a strategic business plan has been prepared to enhance revenues of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Claiming that the change in PIA would be visible within the next few months, the minister added that the route rationalization exercise has been conducted under which profitable routes were being added.

He said that efforts were underway to resume our flights to the United Kingdom and European countries to generate reasonable revenue to the PIA.

The airports of Sukkur and Dera Ismael Khan would be given the status of international airports in view of their potential. He said there was also a proposal to introduce small modern jets to cater to domestic flights.

The minister said the government was also considering outsourcing airports, especially Islamabad International Airport, to operate them as per international standards. The Minister for Aviation said there were a total of 41 airports, out of which 11 airports were non-functional and 30 airports were functional right now.

He also indicated the replacement of uncomfortable seats along with the induction of 04 A-320 narrow body aircraft and A-320 flight simulator was underway.

He said the irresponsible statement of former Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan about pilots has inflicted Rs35 billion to Rs40 billion losses to the national flag carrier.

He said aircraft fuel remained the single largest element of the total cost, which increased by eight percent due to the high average fuel cost.

The devaluation of the Pakistan Rupee by 47 percent in 2021 also caused an increase in exchange loss for the year.

He dismissed the dissolution of Employees’ Pension Fund Trust or transferring employees’ funds of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to the federal government.

He said CAA has established "CAA Employees Pension Fund Trust" with the participation of indigenous employees being trustees of fund and CAA Service Regulations-2014 (Revised version-2019) protect the financial rights of the pensioners.

He added that the funds were being invested with the highest return generating instruments, payment or pension and retirement benefits was made in a timely manner and there were appropriate controls in place to ensure accuracy, transparency and timely disbursal of payment to pensioners.

 

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