The Economic Survey of Pakistan released on 10th June 2021 put a light on the PIA’s performance last fiscal year.
The national flag carrier for Pakistan has shed losses coming down to Rs680m in the outgoing FY2020-21.
The finance minister revealed that the operating losses were down from a high Rs7 billion.
It is worth mentioning that the PIA’s financial year is based on the calendar year. According to the economic Survey thus, in CY2020, the route for the national air carrier increased by 99.8 percent to 778,609 KMs from 389,725 KMs in the calendar year 2019.
Pakistan International Airlines Corporation, like other airlines around the world, suffered greatly because of the pandemic as international travel was limited, and the regular flights were not taking place as they were in the pre-pandemic world.
This can be seen in the number of Revenue hours flown by the national carrier as mentioned in the Survey. According to the survey, the Revenue hours flown decreased from 110,640 hours in CY19 to 58,519 hours in CY20, a decrease of 47.1 percent year-on-year.
The ‘revenue passengers’ for the airline were also decreased from 5,290,000 in 2019 to 2,541,000 in 2020, a decrease of more than half in 2020.
The survey mentioned that the PIAC had taken some important measures to revamp its operations in the outgoing fiscal year.
The national carrier worked on the enhancement of ancillary revenues through bulkhead seats, pre-allocation of seats, advance excess baggage among other things.
The airline also focused on Network optimization, it enhanced its cargo and charter operations, and the corporation focused on capacity rationalization for better utilization.
The survey added that the company worked on improvements in customer services via improving punctuality and regularity of flights, aircraft cleanliness, and food quality.
On the governance side, the action was taken against employees with disciplinary issues and internal controls were improved to solve the loopholes.
Other improvements in the company included improvement in air-crew flight roosters, enhancing brand perception, reconciling and rescheduling loans, and starting a strict disciplinary and accountability regime which included a Time Management System.
PIAC introduced a central medical Center for employees to reduce costs.
The company increased the maximum Take Off weight limitation on A-320 aircraft, thereby increasing payload carrying capacity.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) corporation also brought in Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) to cut operating costs.
The national carrier also reduced salaries for 6 months with a resultant saving of Rs 770 million.
All these steps and further reforms by the government’s decision in the recent FY2021-22 budget to financially support Pakistan’s flag carrier. Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on 11th June proposed allocations of Rs 20 billion for PIA.
In his budget speech at National Assembly, the Minister said that although losses of PIA and Steel mills have been reduced through better management, they still need financial support from the Federal government.
PIA adds aircraft to its fleet
It is worth mentioning that PIA CEO Arshad Malik addressed a live session on 8th June during which he revealed that following the instructions issued by the government of Pakistan, the business plan was being prepared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is expected to be completed in three months.
“PIA will induct narrow-body aircraft into its fleet and it is in the process of returning 72 ATR planes, which had been acquired many years ago on the expensive lease,” he said.
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