Being PIA MD is a thankless job…


The new Managing Director of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Rao Qamar Suleman face challenges of not only revamping the huge human resource and financial loopholes of the airline but would also have to seriously and effectively check the flaws in flight operations which previous management did not even consider worthy enough.
Latest in series of setbacks at foreign destination is the most lucrative station Jeddah, the reason nothing new to airline, flights operating delayed.
Earlier, the PIA was reprimanded by the British aviation authorities over delays and lax safety. And this time, the national airline has been warned by the Saudi civil aviation authorities to ensure its scheduled landing time for the summer flights. “Or be ready to shift night landings to the day time,” which will result in inconvenience to the PIA passengers.
The new MD PIA sources said, will have to take stern action by appointing efficient staff at strategic positions in all departments to send message to all ranks that merit will be the only criteria, otherwise the sloppy flight operation will get further sluggish as currently the airline is plagued with unconcerned staff.
Sources informed that the Saudis have pointed out that frequent arrival and departure delays by the PIA flights quite much disturb the schedules of other airlines at the busy airports of Jeddah and Riyadh.
“Officials of PIA in Saudi Arabia have passed on the reservations of the Saudi aviation authorities to the PIA Headquarters with a request to give an undertaking that the summer flights would adhere to the scheduled timings,” said the source. Since, they are closely monitoring all the PIA flights there, any slippage in this regard would cost PIA dearly, sources added.
Earlier the Jeddah King AbdulAziz Airport Authority had shifted PIA flight operations to Hajj terminal from normal terminal for delays and carrying mostly Umrah passengers on regular flights.
Sources informed that since Jan 1st 2012 till the end of March almost 400 flights from different cities of Pakistan to/from Jeddah got delayed out of more than only 500 flights. During the same period, around 50 flights to/from Medina also got delayed out of above 60 flights.
On the other hand, concerned PIA officials have warned the management that the shift of flight landings in Saudi Arabia from night to day time would upset the schedule of almost all other PIA flights. Therefore, it was advised to strictly follow the schedules, said the sources.
The Director Marketing PIA in one of his communications with the management said that “the concerns shown by General Authority of Civil Aviation in Saudi Arabia and KAIA need to be taken seriously. It is requested that we must maintain punctuality to avoid any untoward situation in PK’s operations. All efforts be made to maintain all departures/arrivals as per schedule filed with the Regulatory Authorities.”
He further said that “It may please be noted that the Saudis are very rigid and if once decided they can ask PK to shift its operation in day times. Such concerns have time and again been highlighted by GACA/KAIA in certain meetings with the local PK authorities.”
“Shifting of operations to day times will not only hamper other PK network operation but it will also give a bad name to the national flag carrier. Such a bad impression also affects market and definitely passengers will also be disturbed and divert to other carriers,” he added.
It may be mentioned here that airports in Saudi Arabia are the ones most lucrative for PIA’s business, but the national airlines’ indifferent attitude towards these stations will land PIA in trouble.
The mentioning of earlier warning issued to PIA by the authorities of King Abdulaziz International Airport Jeddah would not be out of place here as they refused to operate the PIA flights on the conditions of PIA. It was reported that the delayed operations of 32 flights out of 40 flights scheduled to Jeddah in the just 20 days of February (from 1stto 20th) by PIA resulted in taking the KAIA authorities stern action against the incessant inefficiency of the PIA authorities. It is pertinent to mention that PIA’s flights from from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Peshawar stations to Jeddah usually got delayed on daily basis.


  1. The CEO of Turkish Airlines which is one of the best in the world is a PHD, while we give an ex fauji who was incompetent as airforce chief to enjoy the perks at PIA after retirement. Shame on us as a nation.

    • What a shame the ol MD has brought to PIA? How u say that rao was incompetent as air cheif?

      • are u a relative of rao, buddy pay a visit to the AHQ and ul know in what words he is remembered. He was another one of the presidents cronies, which is confirmed after his appointment as md pia which is a junior post as compared to cas.

  2. Previous (2007) EU ban on PIA was self inflicted & any other threatening restrictions appear to be the same. All crooks continue to operate as usual & flourish.
    Wonder how long it 'll take the new MD to warm up to what's in his face?

  3. Air Marshall Asghar Khan was a successful MD, if I remember correctly, but those were different times. Is there any SUCCESSFUL airline in the world that has a retired air force chief as MD? In any case, can one honest, uncorruptable, unapproachable, unafraid, efficient and effective person (if such a person can be found in Pakistan) change the prevalent culture of corruption, nepotism, political interference and greed?

    My experience with PIA international travel has been mostly disappointing, but I want to travel by my original country's airline whenever possible as a gesture of my goodwill. But for how long?

    • Not to forget Air Marshal Noor Khan who led PIA during its golden era and made PIA one of the top Airlines of the world.

  4. I wonder nothing will change, if anything it will go to worse from bad.
    Qamar made PAF chief through back door and now MD PIA same way. He also used same influence to change Chairman CAA before he move into PIA. As Qamar was scared of his honesty and former's PAF backgound.. Shame all the way.
    This is way of present governance in Pakistan.

  5. Rao Sikandar (late, defence minister) made him the DCAS(O) of PAF, later old Petaro college contacts (Jatoi and nadeem) and Graeen ship (same city as the PM) got him the post of CAS. Probably the most incompetent chief PAF has seen. No one knows how much he has fed the president in his 3 yrs tenure on JF-17 deal and how much he is gonna feed him in 777 and other deals now. 2.5 million rs per month for a thankless job….anybody would love to be hired for this thankless job. The guy has no dignity whatsoever. DGCAA was an Air Marshal of the PAF…CAS serving at a post which is under the DG CAA……..not many people could stoop down to such low levels of integrity. Thankless job…huh

  6. he also happened to run down a poor man under his car when he was a junior officer and made his escape from the scene with the help of a DC. a murderer making it to the post of cas and later md pia. the guy has bought a 4 star hotel in malaysia from the tax payers money he had been living on all this while. why didnt he invest in pakistan. this is the integrity of our system and our rulers. mr kureshi i think you live in the states. hahaha we can only pray.

    • If the former-CAS and current MD PIA owns a 4-star hotel in Malaysia then it goes to show that becoming a senior military officer is the best investment a Pakistani can hope to make. One can be as corrupt as the politicians but nevertheless no one can throw you in jail.

    • Put your money where your mouth is, lets start by knowing the name and address of the hotel that you profess to be his property.

  7. I do'nt know what experience you have working with the Chinese but I know first hand that they do make deals. My company has had to extend uncalled for favors and provide things that were not part of the deal. That was the price I had to pay to be able to do business with them. As far as this MD is concerned, anyone appointed by zardari or gillani is corrupt. From day one, they have only appointed inept, incompetent and corrupt people. Name one person that they appointed who has a good reputation, is qualified and not corrupt.

    • Purely based on my extensive experience of dealing with the Chinese, both from Pakistan and the UAE, I beg to differ. What you are mentioning would most likely be the favors and things demanded by the Pakistani Authorities and their red-tape ridden procedures. Trust me the JF-17 deal, even if it carried kickbacks, happens to be a deal of a lifetime for the PAF and our aeronautical industry. Its good it came about before the present duo got one for us from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) under the most favoured nation club.

  8. Dear Sir,
    we are local of Gwadar but in Gwadar airport but one thing we surprised that since here flight operation started there no promoted any local staff as in charge while others station every staff local except Gwadar airport .Sir please personally chek this matter
    liaqat ali

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