PIA selects junior, inexperienced officers to fill foreign stations’ post

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LAHORE: The management of the national flag carrier – Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has appointed inexperienced and junior officers to fill the posts at its foreign stations, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The officers have been selected by the PIA’s Foreign Posting Board for its marketing department. These new selectees would be posted to important stations including London, Birmingham, Milan, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Paris, Barcelona, Bangkok and others.

According to sources, the PIA management in January held a Foreign Posting Board to select the eligible candidates. According to criteria, they said that for the required posts at foreign stations, the board was responsible to select the candidates with diverse knowledge of market dynamics of the aviation industry. However, they said that the board ignoring the criteria had selected the candidates on ‘favouritism’.

“The eligible candidates were not properly entertained by the board,” they said and added that three candidates against one post could be called for the interview while the selection board called five candidates against one position.

They claimed that over 90 per cent of such people had no experience of fieldwork and had just been working as desk workers at the head office.

“The management headed by Musharraf Rasool Cyan conducted the interviews three times; one time in Karachi, the second time in Islamabad and then in Lahore. The new management has now selected the most junior officers for these important positions. These officers are not only juniors but also lack field experience which is very important to control and run the station,” they said and added that the senior officers had their reservation over the posting of junior officers on senior posts.

“Such unjustified and mala fide behaviour of the management towards its employees is the reason behind PIA’s failure,” they said.

Sharing the details of the newly-posted officers they said the board had selected Mariyam Khan of PG-VIII, a junior most officer as the DXBGRPK GM (Dubai general manager), not only was she posted against a PG-IX position, but was also elevated to the PG-X position as the general manager.

Jan Muhammad posted as JEDGRPK GM (Jeddah general manager) was a PG-VIII junior most officer not only being posted against PG-IX position but was also elevated to PG-X position as the general manager. Moreover, Shafqat Niazi as JEDUUPK (Jeddah manager) was a PG-VII officer who was posted against PG-VIII. Javeria Jatoi as BCNUUPK (manager in Barcelona) was a junior most officer with no field experience or knowledge of sales and administration. Omar Goraya as MCTUUPK (manager in Mascut) was a junior officer with no sound professional background. Saadat Abbasi as PARUUPKA (manager in Paris) was a PG-VII junior most officer who was selected for the PG-IX position.

Similarly, Mazhar Abbasi, who had no field experience, was selected for Najaf and the position was of PG VII whereas he was in PG VIII. Junaid Shah was selected as the general manager in the USA while he was a junior most officer who did not have any field experience. Shahzeb AUHUUPK (manager in Abu Dhabi) was a junior most and had no field and administration experience. Amir Ali MXPUUPK (manager in Milan) was a junior most officer and had no field and administration experience. Besides this Jawad Kazi as OSLUUPK (manager in Oslo), Babar Zaman as BRFUUPK (manager in Bradford) Saima Aslam as BHXUUPK (manager in Birmingham), Qadir Sanghi as BKKUUPK (manager in Bangkok) and Ali Jora for Copenhagen, Shahzad Qazi for Abu Dhabi were not eligible to be posted to foreign stations.

Moreover, the PIA’s Senior Staff Association (SSA) has challenged the Foreign Posting Board results while terming it was mere favouritism. SSA Secretary General Safdar Anjum in a letter to the chief human resource officer asked to cancel the current board’s result and to organise a fresh board for the selection following the merit. He also warned that if their request was not entertained, they would have every right to take a legal action.

PIA Spokesman Mashood Tajwar said that the board had posted all the officers on merit. Speaking to Pakistan Today he said that the process of posting to foreign stations was not carried out overnight, but it took a long time.

Tajwar cleared that there were many senior officers who only had job experience but were ‘not capable’ to hold the foreign stations’ posts while several juniors in the airlines were competent to run the foreign stations in a better way.