KARACHI: The newly-appointed board of directors of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced the decision to forgo its privilege of availing free-of-cost travel in its first meeting held on Thursday in Islamabad.
In the meeting that was also attended by Adviser on Aviation to the Prime Minister Shujaat Azeem on a special invitation the board said that the move will set a good precedence for others.
In the past, directors were allowed to take free seats on any domestic and international flight. This privilege of past directors had also been taken away.
“It was felt by the new board that PIA is in dire financial health and as such in its very first meeting it will send a right signal to all PIA employees that they also need to realise the grave financial health of PIA,” the airline said in a statement.
Azeem briefed the board on future plans for the airline and said that the national carrier will be inducting new generation aircraft on dry lease very soon.
Acting Chairman and CEO Aslam Khaliq said that the airline was going through a very difficult period, but insisted that its human resource is experienced in the aviation industry.
He said that there is an urgent need to restructure PIA in every sphere, particularly the customer service and flight punctuality.
“The board, on its part, will help in inducting new generation fuel-efficient narrow-body aircraft to the fleet, which are required for more than 80% of the routes.”
This will improve PIA’s image, bring back customers’ confidence, enhance employee morale and increase occupancy levels.
Khaliq also announced that he will work for PIA without any emoluments.
The meeting was attended by Mian Muhammad Mansha, Arif Habib, Naseer NS Jafer, Malik Nazir Ahmed, Yousaf Waqar, Muhammad Ali Gardezi, Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, Sarfraz A Rehman and Managing Director PIA, Muhammad Junaid Yunus.
None of the directors are availing any other facility from the airline at the moment, an official confirmed. “They are all big names. They came to the meeting in their own cars,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2013.
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