Before it’s too late


Secretary Defence and Chairman PIA has approved a raise in salaries by 45 percent from Group 1 to 4 effective 1 Jan, 2012.There is no doubt the increase was overdue but the question arises was it an appropriate time to increase salaries when PIA owes billions of rupees to PSO and CAA ? The increase at a time when PIA is facing delays in flights, cancellation of flights, aircrafts landing after take-off due to technical faults, poor passenger handling, growing complaints by stranded passengers, bird hits etc is not in a good taste. Travellers have started feeling whether to travel by PIA or any other airline as reported in national newspapers.
The chairman rightly deserves appreciation for this timely increase to overcome above issues as it will speed up in halting operations of national carrier. This is great feat when PIA is sinking. Three things stand out very clearly. Firstly, CAA is not performing its functions as a regulator and their air worthiness department needs complete overhauling as to how faulty aircrafts are allowed to fly risking hundreds of lives. Secondly, there has been upward trend in the bird hits causing damages to specially PIA aircrafts. CAA is responsible to ensure that no birds are seen in the funnel area while landing and taking off aircrafts. Thirdly, strict control over commercialisation around airports and ensuring that parameters spelt out for obtaining NOC are strictly followed.
PIA has accumulated losses over Rs 150 billion. PSO, the main supplier of fuel, has stopped supplies unless its dues are cleared. When private airlines can run in profit why can’t our national carrier stand on its feet?
The only solution is major surgery. First and foremost is to ban the union immediately for a period of two years. Secondly, reduce the employee’s strength to 50 percent and absorb in other units and finally appoint professionals to run this airline instead of showering these high profile jobs to favourites. Time to wake up before it is too late.


  1. Save PIA from the vultures within its fold, the high paid employees, the powerful corrupt elite, who have made this organisation hostage for their incompetent sons and daughters, mostly dual nationals. Wages increase should only take place if the airline is making profits, has no excess staff and there are sufficient funds to buy essential spare parts, not when half the fleet is grounded for lack of spares.

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