Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Thursday claimed to have become the first airline in the region to fly with all the COVID-19 vaccinated crew members. The national carrier took to Twitter and informed that the organization arranged for the vaccination of its frontline workers as well in consideration of their health and safety.
PIA shared the pictures of the vaccination of its members on its official Twitter account. The vaccinations of the staff at PIA are underway. The airline is expected to complete the vaccination process by mid-May 2021.
With the rapid vaccination of its staff, PIA has also set an example for other Pakistani airlines to follow. PIA CEO Arshad Malik believes that PIA will soon be operating with all its vaccinated staff ensuring the health and safety of its staff.
PIA is all set to become the first airline in the region to fly with all vaccinated cabin & cockpit crew, followed by front line workers for the health and safety of our crew & customers. #PIA strictly adheres to all the prevalent #COVID19 precautionary measures #Inthistogether pic.twitter.com/SrZh31TOex— PIA (@Official_PIA) April 22, 2021
So far, PIA has vaccinated 250 cockpit and cabin crew members while the process has been sped up to meet the deadline.
“PIA considers health and safety of its passengers, crew, and employees as of paramount importance, and this initiative shows our commitment in adhering to global health & safety standards,” said CEO Arshad Malik.
He added that the national carrier is strictly following all the COVID-19 SOPs to ensure the safety of its passengers. PIA regularly disinfects aircraft is regulated by the concerned quarters.
Meanwhile, PIA has expressed to make a ‘strong comeback in the skies’. The national carrier has expressed hope that a boost to its flight operations would help turn around its financial performance.
“Passenger numbers are expected to grow to 2.8 billion in 2021,” PIA Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik said in the Annual Report 2020 dispatched to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday. The expected number of passengers in 2021 would be one billion more than in 2020, but still 1.7 billion travelers short of the 2019 figure, he added.
According to the annual report, the airline operated a higher number of flights (45%) on Middle East routes, followed by 31% on domestic routes during 2020.
PIA also negotiated with financial institutions for rescheduling its loans, given back a couple of leased aircraft to foreign firms, and cut down its workforce by 1,900-2,000 employees (or 14%) by offering them a voluntary separation scheme (VSS).
“By the end of 2021, stronger revenues will improve the situation, but the first half of 2021 looks extremely challenging,” said Malik. “Airline’s financial performance is expected to see a significant turn for the better in 2021, even if historically deep losses prevail”, he added.