News Desk |
Pakistan International Airlines, once a beacon of excellence for the global aviation industry, has been in the doldrums for the past few decades. With a debt of Rs. 406 Billion and mounting public pressure coupled with judicial scrutiny, the President and CEO, Dr. Musharraf Rasool Cyan, is optimistic for the organization.
The CEO, appointed last year, held an open and in-depth conversation with bloggers in Islamabad, according to a press release issued by the flag carrier’s media tail. The interactive session started with Dr. Cyan sharing that Pakistan International Airlines has kept the promise they made in V1, the first phase of change for the better, and achieved all the targets that were laid out for the six months.
He also told the audience that they were now geared for the next phase VR, preparing the airline for takeoff, in the next two years or earlier. The Chief of HR, GM Marketing, and Head of Brands also joined the CEO for the session. During the dialogue, the CEO admitted that PIA was facing challenges that have been accumulating over decades.
The solutions are more difficult here because of the politics and I’ll explain that when we come to the route closures. But our revenues have been consistently improving over the last one year, which means that the sales are improving.
“There are many things, big and small, that need to be improved and improved consistently. Along with improving services, a change of work culture is also needed to have the airline working like a world-class corporate”. The CEO shared that it is a long and challenging journey, but the senior management is fully committed to doing all it takes to turn around PIA and take it towards new heights and that support from all quarters will be essential to make PIA profitable again.
CEO Cyan briefed the assemblage about the accomplished V1 phase “It is in this spirit, that the team set out to achieve the V1 initiative, which included refurbishment and cleanliness of the aircraft interiors; improving the quality of food and the menu changing every month and adding exotic drinks for the business class passengers; ensuring aircrafts are fully operational; SAFA approved safety standards; achieving 93% schedule reliability; increase in excess baggage and cargo revenue ; increased focus on cabin crew services with new fresh crew and refresher trainings.
All of this along with marketing efforts led to an increase in sales in the first quarter of year by 7% compared to same time last year”. “V1”, the press release elaborated, is symbolic as it is the velocity at which the airplane reaches and the pilot makes a decision on whether the plane will take off or abandon the flight. After successfully achieving all the targets, it is clear that PIA is now ready to shift its speed to VR and move towards take off.
Dr. Cyan sharing that Pakistan International Airlines has kept the promise they made in V1, the first phase of change for the better, and achieved all the targets that were laid out for the six months.
VR is the speed at which the aircraft takes off and to achieve this, the management has outlined improvements in services and work culture to be completed in the next two to three years. The VR phase will include: nose to tail revamp of aircrafts, new cabin interiors, including Business Class flatbeds, upgraded in-flight entertainment systems, additional fleet, new website, improved customer service systems, and additional routes and destinations among others, while further improving all aspects of the airline services and culture change within PIA.
Earlier this year, in an interview with Global Village Space, Mr. Cyan had said that there are a lot of undue favors that people from within PIA have taken off the organization. “People have been promoted and the salaries have been increasing, which is also one of the reasons why the airline losses are increasing. In my Ph.D. I studied aviation as one of the major areas of U.S. economy and one of the case studies I did, was the turnaround of Continental Airways, which started around the early 90’s. When I came here, to my surprise, many of the problems were very similar.
However, the solutions are more difficult here because of the politics and I’ll explain that when we come to the route closures. But our revenues have been consistently improving over the last one year, which means that the sales are improving. One of the targets, where management’s accountability comes in, is the operating loss not the overall loss of the airline”.