Privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to improve its performance and save the national exchequer from further drain is the best option available, said President Islamabad Chambers of Commerce and Industry Zafar Bakhtawari, reacting to the approval of a Rs7 billion bailout for the public enterprise by the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet.
According to PIA’s own report, the airline has suffered losses worth Rs119.84 billion over the last ten years, he said. Flight delays and cancellation has become the norm of PIA pushing its flight delay ratio to more than 35%. Out of the 34 aircrafts in PIA’s fleet, 24 are serviceable while the aircraft-to-employee ratio in PIA currently stands at 552 per aircraft compared to global average ratio of 120.
All these indicators call for urgent restructuring of the airline and preparing it for privatisation to bring professionalism in its operations.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2013.
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