News Desk |
Finance Minister Asad Umar was spotted at Jinnah International Airport Karachi bashing a senior official of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) over the phone for delayed flights.
In a video posted on Twitter, Mr. Umar can be seen speaking to a senior official after being approached by passengers complaining about PIA flight operations.
— Malik. (@NavazMalik) December 23, 2018
“Just last month I released Rs17 billion, but it seems as if I am sinking into a black hole,” Mr. Umar said to the official.
Having a CEO of remarkable expertise and release of support package by Finance Ministry, it is expected that PIA’s issue will resolve.
Finance Minister complained about the staff qualification and directed the official to send some experienced and efficient PIA official to deal with the situation and facilitate the passengers.
Mr. Umar who does not believe in privatization of national assets like PIA has repeatedly said he wants to improve the national airline. Mr. Umar is heard in the video talking about Arshad Malik who took the charge as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the PIA on October 27.
Malik had served in the Pakistan Air Force for forty years, during which he rose to the rank of Air Marshal. Prior to joining PIA, he was serving as the vice chief of air staff. He is a recipient of the Hilal-e-Imtiaz (M), Sitara-e-Imtiaz (M), and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (M). On November 12, Finance Ministry released a financial support package worth Rs17.022 billion for national flag carrier PIA.
Given the efforts and determination of Mr. Umar in reviving the airlines, his grilling of PIA officials is justified. PIA has already been marred with administrative and financial problems. Reportedly, PIA losses had risen by Rs. 103 billion during the tenure of Pakistan Muslim League-N government.
And now with the resumption of British Airways (BA) flight operation, challenges facing PIA will increase; since so far only national airline was providing direct flights between the United Kingdom and Pakistan but now BA will offer the same service too.
Having a CEO of remarkable expertise and release of support package by Finance Ministry, it is expected that PIA’s issue will resolve. It is, however, yet to be seen that ‘how exactly’ the reforms are brought about.