Oct 162017
Pensioners? plight

During service in PIA, credit card schemes and personal bank loans were made so easy that paying back in time in instalments was no problem and all went well. Many employees applied for credit card and personal loans and faced no trouble while repaying the loan. However, at a time when the airline was dealing with financial crisis, a financial decision was taken, resulting in the reduction of salaries and perks. Now, it is not possible to pay back to banks all instalments in time. This forced banks to involve recovery and collection departments and send representatives at home to let all neighbours know that a low-paid PIA employee failed to pay installments. For retired employees, the meagre amount of pension further affected payment. During the last seven years, the pension has been increased only once – from Rs6,070 to Rs7,587. It seems that the concerned authorities are not interested in alleviating the sufferings of PIA pensioners.  Because of low income, pensioners face many problems. Will somebody take notice of this problem? M Shakeel Khalid (Karachi) Click for detailed story

Aug 292017

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has slashed its fares by one-fourth on domestic flights for the first two days on Eid (September 2 & 3) as it seeks to tap into a diminishing market on holidays. “There is usually a low rate of bookings on flights during Eid holidays. The offer [25% discount] would stimulate operations on the days,” said the airlines spokesman Mashhood Tajwar on Tuesday. “Why should we give the discount if flights are full or overcrowded?” he replied. “This is a new niche market,” he said, adding that it would help avoid flight cancellation in case of low booking. The sluggish sale of tickets is in contrast to the practice where passengers pay double the fare to take flights on eve of Eid or a day or two earlier, he said. The discount is being offered on flights to/from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan and Faisalabad. PIA, Shaheen induct new aircraft into their fleets The offered discount would be withdrawn in case passengers, later on, reschedule flights against the tickets bought for the Eid days. “If the offered discount does not flare revenues, it would at least arrest a drop [in the revenue], if any.” The increased purchasing power has allowed more people to take short trips to meet their family members and friends. Whereas initially people travelled by air only when they had to and then too, they would prolong their trips to fully utilise the cost. PIA sold one million additional tickets last year. This [Read More…]

Aug 282017
PIA pensioners

It is unfortunate that the relevant authorities have been ignoring the plight of PIA pensioners for the last 13 years. While performing their duties, the now retired employees of PIA worked tirelessly to turn the organisation into one of the best airlines of the world. However, after their retirement, these people are suffering in silence. These people have been requesting the PIA management for a sufficient increase in their amount of pension, but to no avail. Although previously the management vowed to address the pleas of pensioners, nothing constructive has been done to date. PIA pensioners are drawing meagre amount of monthly pension that cannot be utilised to pay a single utility bill. No increase has been made in PIA pension during the last 13 years. If the management approves an increase in the amount of pension, it will not have negative effects on PIA’s financial statements since a separate ‘PIA pension fund’ account is being maintained by the organisation. The same account also shows billion of rupees. At the time of retirement, the PIA management had assured pensioners to restore 50 percent of commuted amount of pension to those who would complete 10 years after retirement, but PIA never implemented this clause. Back in 2003, PIA promised to increase the amount of pension whenever there is an increase in employees’ salaries, but this was also not implemented. Whenever the federal government announces an increase in pension, PIA pensioners never got any benefit. PIA retired employees are entitled to get [Read More…]

Jul 112017

PESHAWAR: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane landed safely at the Peshawar airport after the outer layer of the fuel tank on its left wing was swept away by winds while it was mid-air. Civil Aviation officers at the Bacha Khan International Airport said flight PK-281 , which was flying from Abu Dhabi to Karachi, landed safely but its passengers were evacuated. PIA pilot sleeps during international flight, leaving trainee to handle aircraft The officers said the head office had been conveyed about the issue and the equipment needed to fix the problem were brought to the airport on flight PK-351. They added that the fuel tank had been replaced and the plane declared safe for flight. The PIA regional office could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts. The post PIA plane lands at Peshawar airport after fuel tank’s layer comes off mid-air appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jun 302017
Greed wins

Those who blame PM Nawaz Sharif and his government for the failure of PIA need to realise that the decline of the airlines started in 2002, when, in spite of escalating oil prices, PIA’s balance sheet indicated minimal losses. The corruption infected vultures, who, through their networking and political contacts, had, by 2008, cunningly managed to be nominated as the MD of PIA and the DG of CAA Pakistan, were the main reason for this decline. This government can only be blamed for not having political will to appoint qualified and experienced executives, but not for the over Rs230 billion accumulated losses it inherited and the corrupt mediocrity that dominated its executive corridors. By the time the PML-N-led government took charge of PIA, all prime time slots in the Gulf had been surrendered to the advantage of the airlines owned by Gulf states. Almost half of the PIA fleet was grounded because of gross irregularities in the procurement of essential technical spares, while its human resource, which was once its asset, was eroded by burdening the already surplus employees of this loss making white elephant with over 300 employees with fake degrees. PIA’s GSAs and GHAs all over its network were changed and replaced by parties with dubious background. Having purchased long range aircraft like B777, it was shocking when, in the garb of code sharing, the airline was to be reduced to become a spoke carrier of Turkish Airline which took over all its routes to Europe, America and [Read More…]

Jun 282017

A number of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) domestic and international flights remained disturbed facing diversions and delays due to unfavourable weather conditions for flying across the country. “However, PIA facilitated passengers during the delays and tried to operate flights upon clearance from Metrological departments’ advice,” PIA Spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar said in a statement. Heavy snowfall disrupts life in G-B’s Ghizer Valley Flights especially in the northern parts of the country were mostly disturbed. Following flights remained disturbed and were delayed: PK301 Islamabad to Karachi, PK702 Manchester to Islamabad, PK745 Sialkot to Jeddah, PK760 Jeddah to Sialkot, PK751 Lahore to Oslo, PK752 Oslo to Lahore, PK247 Lahore to Damam, PK248 Dammam to Lahore, PK204 Dubai to Lahore, PK583 Lahore to Rahim Yar Khan, PK536 Karachi to Sukkur, PK537 S Summit to Karachi, PK307 Lahore to Karachi, PK713 Islamabad to Madina, PK714 Medina to Islamabad, PK313 Lahore to Karachi, PK451 Islamabad to Skardu, PK452 Skardu to Islamabad, PK652 Lahore to Islamabad, PK270 Lahore to Delhi, PK271 Delhi to Lahore, PK607 Islamabad to Gilgit and PK608 Gilgit to Islamabad. According to the statement, PIA apologised to its passengers for the inconvenience. The post Unstable weather affects PIA domestic, international flight schedules appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jun 232017
14 suspects linked to drug smuggling ring arrested: DG ANF

At least 14 people involved in a drug smuggling gang, including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) officials and former airport security officials, have been arrested, Director General (DG) Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Major General Mussarat Nawaz Malik said at a press conference on Friday. The suspects, who were allegedly involved in the smuggling of narcotics via PIA flights at London's Heathrow Airport and Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA), had been apprehended with the help of surveillance footage, the DG ANF disclosed at the Rawalpindi ANF headquarters.Maj Gen Malik said that the arrest of a few more suspects would help establish the network's international links. "The capture of two more suspects will concretely determine their connections to those in London who have been facilitating the operation," he said, adding that raids are being conducted to arrest international suspects. The arrested suspects' remands have been obtained by the ANF, he said.The ANF head said an investigation into the smuggling operation was expedited when heroin was seized from a flight at BBIA. He also noted that most of the suspects who had been arrested were PIA employees.More than 100 PIA employees were put under surveillance following the smuggling incidents, as the ANF continue to investigate the matter, the DG ANF told reporters. He also announced that the suspected ringleader Arif Badshah had been arrested in Karachi Thursday night. Badshah had confessed to his crimes and stated that he was responsible for hiring people for the operation and for providing his accomplices with heroin to [Read More…]

Jun 032017
ASF says its PIA jumbo jet ‘restaurant’ actually an officers’ mess

KARACHI: The Airport Security Force (ASF) denied on Saturday the speculations on social media and reports by some publications that an old Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft had been converted into a restaurant. “An old jumbo jet, 747-300 AP-BFV, was handed over to the ASF around one-and-a-half years ago for training and that too, free of charge,” ASF spokesperson Colonel Kashif told The Express Tribune. “An officers’ mess, not a restaurant”. PHOTO: Twitter The aircraft retired in 2014 and was stationed at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport until it was handed over to the security force in 2016, he added. According to Colonel Kashif, sometimes the aircraft was used for training purposes but later it was decided that it must be maintained and changed into an officers’ club. “An officer’s club is a mess for our officers and not a restaurant,” he added, describing the news circulating on varying platforms as unauthentic. PIA investigating security breach after 7 passengers forced to stand during flight “The plane was no longer being used by the airline which is why when asked by the ASF, it was given to them for training,” said a PIA official. He added that around 90 per cent recruits of the ASF did not have first-hand experience with aeroplanes. ASF converts an old PIA B-747 aircraft into a modern restaurant in #Karachi ✈️ Photos by Faisal Kiyani #BeautifulPakistan pic.twitter.com/FmTKsrzpJN — Danyal Gilani (@DanyalGilani) May 30, 2017 “The retired PIA jumbo jet has been refurbished into a lavish dine-in area at the old [Read More…]

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