PIA’s irregularities galore

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Reference media reports about restructuring airline and strike by JACPIA called off, following partial resumption of operations. For five days PIA Acting Chairman, fleet of directors and GM were missing, having shut down their offices, even at outstations, making no attempt whatsoever to get airline operations started, or informing passengers stranded at various airports and taking care of them. It seems politically appointed executives knowing full well that on merit they would not stand a chance were supporting strike directly or indirectly. Only when responsible section in media and few aviation analysts started asking questions did they start telephoning essential staff to report for duty, but after damage had been done and PIA’s already dented credibility eroded. For PIA to recover those involved in irregularities, revenue pilferage and subversive or criminal activities must be sacked.

Political appointments have reduced PIA to dumping ground for cronies who would otherwise would never qualify on merit. Other than change in faces, nothing has changed. With airline revenues declining and costs escalating and half fleet grounded, not only were there more recruitment, but salaries were raised while liabilities and debts rose. It is top heavy management dominated by mediocrity and even in 2015 with change in government and management a retired major has been appointed as Director Marketing, a fake degree holding pilot as Director Airport Services. In 2011 PIA appointed an Intermediate pass as Director HR and Administration while in 2009 a junior pilot took over as GM Ground Handling Technical Services, a post held by an engineer, while qualified CA serving as Chief Internal Auditor was sacked and replaced by retired Accounts Officer.

In 2011 following protests by PIA employees against lopsided agreement in favor of Turkish Airlines, former PIA MD resigned and was offered contract as pilot in Turkish Airline. When his contract expired he was taken back in PIA in 2014 with backdated seniority and benefits as if management could condone an irregularity of being simultaneously having gainful employment in both a statutory state owned enterprise and a foreign airline based in Turkey. In 2008 a PIA steward who had been sacked caught red handed at Dubai Duty Free Shops for stealing by their security was not only reinstated but promoted and posted to Barcelona as Catering Officer.

ANEELA CHANDIO

Sukkur