On Wednesday, Arshad Malik along with Chief Commercial Officer Ali Tahir, Regional Coordinator Sher Ali and Passenger Sales Manager Waqas Malik visited Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), also present were RCCI President Nasir Mirza, Group Leader Sohail Altaf, Senior Vice President Osman Ashraf, Vice President Shahraiz A Malik, former presidents, members of the executive committee and chamber members.
Malik claimed during the visit that Pakistan International Airline’s financial restructuring which includes proper training of staff, new flight destinations, and a new fleet of aircraft would be made a priority. He also spoke about a financial plan for PIA pertaining to the airline’s Rs. 450 billion in debt. He stated, “The PIA is facing serious challenges due to the corona epidemic and licensing issue. It is the combined responsibility of all entities, including the business community, to come forward and play their due role in rescuing the national airline from crisis”.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), that was once Pakistan’s leading airline has seen an unprecedented decline in its prosperity and status in these last few years. Billions of debt, poor management and maintenance, unskilled staff and cabin crew, to name a few, has tremendously consumed PIA’s popularity among Pakistanis. A report by BBC Urdu outlines five major issues with the airline; political interference, lack of leadership, unqualified and unsuitable directors, political backing of union and associations, and corruption.
Government’s plans to privatize PIA have been circulating for quite some time but, are never implemented. PIA, for decades, has been providing jobs for each of their employees’ generation of family and relatives. As a consequence, it allows for overstaffing and untrained crew members and employees, inevitably lowering PIA’s performance even further. This is also one of the reasons why the airline’s union is strongly against PIA’s privatization.
The current CEO of the airline, Air Marshal (retd) Arshad Malik while assuming charge, claimed he is well versed with the challenges pertaining to PIA. He said “There will be no retrenchment in PIA, all employees will work in harmony to bring back the past glory of the airline”. Just last month, Malik briefed the federal cabinet regarding his vision to make PIA more sustainable, bringing in structural reforms in the airline, including technical ground service (TGS), human resource, revenue enhancement, financial restructuring, and food service division.
While presenting to the cabinet last month, CEO Arshad Malik stated that PIA’s revenue went up by 42.5% in 2019, however, due to the covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan International Airlines unfortunately lost around 31.9 billion. Malik further urged that he aims to revive the airline with improved strategic reforms.