FCCI protests against PIA’s flight schedule | Pakistan Today

FCCI protests against PIA’s flight schedule

FAISALABAD – The business community of Faisalabad that has been having strong reservations about Pakistan International Airlines’ Faisalabad-Karachi flight schedule is now forced to launch protest against its cruel policies, said Zafar Iqbal Sarwar, chairman, ad-hoc committee on PIA set up by Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI).
Zafar Iqbal, a renowned businessman and executive member of FCCI, was speaking at a press conference jointly hosted by the chamber and Travel Agents Association, Faisalabad. The press conference was attended by Travel Agents Association Convener Akram Khan, FCCI executive member Rizwan Ashraf and Pakistan Travel Agents Association executive committee member Farooq Ahmed.
“We ask the PIA to give a serious consideration to the demands of the business community of the third largest city of Pakistan that stands second in terms of revenue generation for the national exchequer,” said Zafar Iqbal. “The business community of Faisalabad is fed up with the repeated assurances of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) authorities that they will restore the old flight schedule between Faisalabad and Karachi, but there is no result,” he said.
“The PIA f0light service between Faisalabad and Karachi is quite dissatisfactory, inconvenient and terrible due to its odd timings that are suitable to none,” he said. He demanded the restoration of old schedule to end the miseries of the businessmen who are frequently travelling to and from Karachi. He regretted that their justified demands are consistently ignored by PIA.
FCCI’s feedback about PIA’s poor standard of services has come at a time when the company is struggling hard to regain its past glory. The new PIA chairman, Zaffar A Khan, in his recent statement, has admitted that the financial health of the airlines has progressively deteriorated to alarming proportions as the company is having a loss of Rs 40 million per day.
The government has recently presented the details of the losses faced by the PIA in the National Assembly, according to which the national flag carrier burdened itself with Rs 72.47 billion in the last five years. Elaborating the former schedule, Zafar Iqbal said there were a total of 14 flights per week from Faisalabad to Karachi that comprised daily a morning and an evening flight.
It was possible for a trader or a businessman to go to Karachi in the morning and return the same day in the evening after spending his working day in Karachi to settle his business and official deals. As per the current schedule, the total number of weekly flights has been reduced from 14 to 9 (one flight daily Saturday to Thursday and three flights on Friday).
There is a daily flight arriving from Karachi at 11am that returns to Karachi in the afternoon. This forced businessmen to reach Karachi one day before. Moreover, as there is no flight from Karachi to Faisalabad after 9:30am, they have to wait for the next day to board a return flight to Faisalabad.
Under the circumstances, those who need to travel to Karachi for few hours in the morning are required to stay there for two nights. This has created a mess for those travelling to and returning from abroad. Speaking about the Hajj and Umra flights, he stressed the need for launching a weekly direct flight for Jeddah to perform Umra. He also suggested direct Hajj flights from Faisalabad.
Zafar Iqbal discussed in details the problems faced by Faisalabad businessmen towards travelling to Karachi by PIA. He urged the PIA to respond to the demand of the passengers and revise its schedule. He reminded the PIA authorities that a lot of Faisalabad passengers were taking Lahore-Karachi air route to avoid the illogical itinerary from Faisalabad. He also demanded the PIA authorities introduce business class in the current Faisalabad-to-Dubai flight.
“Faisalabad, a city of more than 10 million people does not deserve this sort of attitude from the PIA,” he said. Travel Agents Association Convener Akram Khan said the PIA services had totally collapsed after a bomb blast in front of the PIA office Faisalabad on March 8, killing 27 people. “The Umra season is on its peak and the PIA arranged an extra daily flight to Jeddah from other cities, but Faisalabad was totally neglected in this context,” he regretted.
There are direct flights from Lahore, Multan and Sialkot but no flight from Faisalabad. It is to be noted that PIA office was closed down for renovation since the bomb blast and a two-member staff is posted at Faisalabad airport, located 20 kilometers away from the city area, causing inconvenience for agents and passengers to process their travel formalities.
“The PIA is such a huge organisation and it must have taken immediate steps to reinforce its manpower after the blast. We express our full sympathy for the employees who are on sick leave owing to blast injuries but it does not mean that the company must close the station,” he said. Akram Khan claimed that the number of pilgrims from Faisalabad is more than other any other city, but the PIA authorities were not ready to give an equal status to the city.
Visas of 300 pilgrims from Faisalabad expired owing to unavailability of flights, he continued. “We have an average daily 100 Umra passengers from Faisalabad, but the PIA is playing down our demand on a false pretext of insufficient passengers. We challenge the airline authorities to launch Hajj and Umra flights from Faisalabad and in the case of low occupancy, we pledge to compensate the company all the losses incurred from these flights,” Akram Khan said.

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One Comment;

  1. m imran said:

    aslam directer pia we are demand hajj and umra direct flight in fsd plz note her

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