CEO Pakistan International Airlines, Air Marshal Arshad Malik has shared, with public, the progress that PIA has made in the past one year under his management. He claims that the national flag carrier has seen a 41% increase in revenues, a 5 points increase in seat factor and over 90% reliability of schedule. PIA has thus significantly improved in all performance indices and is now all set to take a more aggressive course towards future.
Signs of improvement have started to appear in PIA in just one year’s time, though there are still many challenges to overcome and many more new heights to achieve. Air Marshal Arshad Malik shared these future plans, achievements, and challenges with public in a video message.
He asked us to fly PIA and support PIA, as it is only when all of us give the national flag carrier our patronage that it will fly higher in the skies.
Highlighting the airline’s one year’s performance, he said that PIA’s revenue during the past six months had increased by 41 percent, seat factor also improved and was now between 80 to 84 percent which is considered a good performance indicator in the Aviation Industry.
I wish PM @ImranKhanPTI had 200 persons like Air Marshal Arshad Malik, CEO & President PIA.
What a man he is. Absolutely delighted to watch his presentation on Improvements made by PIA in 1 year under him. Man has turned around PIA. What an inspiration. https://t.co/hv7R8D7VtI
— Rao Jee (@raoo512) November 7, 2019
The airline’s cargo space utilization has increased from 20 percent to almost 80 percent. PIA also enhanced its engineering capabilities and now aircraft maintenance i.e. line maintenance and “Check A” (routine checks mandatory after every 400-600 flight hours) can also be performed at Lahore and Islamabad. This facility was previously only available at Karachi. This allows for better positioning of aircraft and their maintenance which leads to cost savings.
He said two aircraft that had been grounded for a long time, were made serviceable this year and now all Boeing 777s and A320 aircraft in PIA fleet are operational and contributing towards revenue generation. A proper aircraft spares inventory planning program that was lacking before has also been implemented in PIA that has reduced aircraft downtime and better serviceability of aircraft.
CEO PIA said that the ground service equipment which plays an important role in any airline was left neglected in the past. The ground service equipment that was left as scrap has been overhauled utilizing the airline’s own resources thus saving millions which were previously given to other service agencies.
PIA, according to him, has renewed its IOSA certification this year and is now in the process of attaining “European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification. PIA’s property assets in Pakistan and abroad were neglected and abandoned in past, this year the administration identified these properties in the USA, Amsterdam, Iran, Tashkent, and other countries and are trying to make better use of them.
PIA has introduced new routes and more destinations will be added to its network based on demand prospects and commercial viability and all business decisions are now made collectively unlike what was being done in the past. CEO PIA said that plans are underway to restart flights for the USA and preferably for operating direct flights to New York.
Air Marshal Arshad Malik, in his video, informed the public that preliminary meetings have been held in this regard. Two narrow-body aircrafts will also be inducted in the PIA fleet by the end of this year. He said that no planning or up-gradation was made in the past for in-flight entertainment and passengers comfort onboard the aircraft. This year, the in-flight system is being upgraded for the convenience of passengers of long haul flights. Co-branding initiatives have also been taken to promote tourism in Pakistan and for providing better services to the passengers.
He said that merit has been implemented in PIA and all promotions and foreign postings have been done purely on merit without any outside influence. He thanked the government of PM Imran Khan for giving its full support in this regard. Referring to overstaffing in PIA, he said that the majority of the airline operations are from Islamabad and adjoining cities while most of the Human Resource (HR) was based at Karachi. Terming the Human Resources in PIA as an “Asset”, he said that now employees have been positioned according to the size of operation & number of flight number of fights that are operating from Islamabad.
— PTI North Punjab (@PtiNorthPunjab) October 31, 2019
Air Marshall Arshad Malik also outlined some of the major challenges that PIA faced including demerits in appointments and transfers, political decisions with economic consequences being made elsewhere for PIA, people working in silos and not being rewarded for performance, or not being held accountable.
He explained that PIA had lost focus on customer service and amenities that were a standard across other airlines such as the “In-flight Entertainment System” which needs fixing. PIA had been incurring losses because it was flying on unprofitable routes. He discussed how this was changed and gave examples of how the loss-making flight to Japan was changed, outlined improvements made in supply chain and maintenance facilities to get more airplanes in the air.
Air Marshall Arshad Malik concludes his message urging Pakistanis to once again trust PIA and to use it for their travel plans so that Pakistan receives the dollars it desperately needs. He has made many promises to potential Pakistani travelers, but PIA has to walk the talk. Customers – especially international customers – have many excellent choices – they have to be persuaded to chose PIA because it offers them the best service and value for their money. That will be the ultimate success of PIA and may help to bring it back to profitability.