Crippling losses: PIA loses money but continues to add workforce

Number of people hired by the present government the highest in airline’s history.

Zahid Gishkori October 15, 2011


Over the past three years 2,171 people have been recruited in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which has suffered losses worth Rs100 billion in the same time period.

The number of people hired by the incumbent government is the highest in the history of the national flag carrier, with most people, 1,179, having been employed in 2010, according to a 44-page report submitted by the defence ministry to the Senate.

“PIA’s problem needs rightsizing,” wrote Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar in his reply to the Senate on some questions raised by lawmakers on the airline.

“Reduction in non-operational areas will be done (through) normal attrition,” Mukhtar said.

However, the minister said there will be no reduction of manpower in operational staff, such as pilots, aircraft engineers and specialised professionals.

PIA recruited 237 people in 2011, 1,179 in 2010, while 684 appointments were made in 2009 and 56 in 2008, the reply said.

The document said that around 1,854 regular appointments were made, while 317 employees were recruited on a contract basis from 2008 to July 2011.

As many as 870 people were recruited as human resources assistants, junior instructors, cargo assistants and reserve ticket assistants. Around 357 air hostesses and 75 cadet pilots were also recruited in the airline in this time.

The defence minister submitted the reply in response to multiple questions asked by Senators Dr Ismail Buledi, Col Tahir Mashhadi and Abdul Nabi Bangash.

In response to whether the number of people appointed or promoted in PIA was in violation of rules during the tenure of former managing director Aijaz Haroon, Mukhtar said: “Twelve people from pay group-II to pay group-X were inducted in PIA by dispensing the requirement of advertisement and qualification in violation of rules in vogue.”

However, these appointments were authenticated by the PIAC Board, he added.

According to the defence ministry, around 4,407 of 8,801 officers were also promoted in the airline.

When asked about the measures taken for improving the airlines’ condition, the minister said that the government is reviewing the fleet loans. It is also working on capital financing cost and a plan is being made to reduce the interest rate, he added.

Both spokespersons from PIA and the Ministry of Defence said: “What the defence minister has said is fact.”

“I have serious reservations over a large number of appointments in the national flag carrier. I will raise the issue in the Upper House of the Parliament,” said Senator Tahir Mashhadi.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2011.


kala_bacha | 11 years ago | Reply

PPP has karishma wherever they put hands drowned it. From prime minister to local body administrators all are culprits. Even then reinstated more then 600 people from PPP last government with full benefits. So what you expect from PIA. I believe local trucking company doing better business then PIA. Don't worry all the government runs institutions are like that example are railways, banking sectors, steel mills, etc. The biggest almia the same people will relect again and Pakistani qoom will give them vote, woh bhi fakhar say!

Pundit | 11 years ago | Reply

@Maria: If people stop flying with PIA the losses would mount!

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