- PIA introduces new livery with logo, design featuring Markhor
- Rebranding to cost USD 1m, sources claim
ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan inaugurated on Friday a new livery of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) comprising a painting of the endangered species Markhor.
PIA has introduced a new livery with its logo and design to include Markhor, the national animal which inhabits the mountainous regions of Pakistan. Markhor’s picture will be visible on the aircraft tail, while the cockpit of PIA planes integrates Pakistan’s flag, accompanied by PIA; written in both English and Urdu.
Sardar Mahtab was the chief guest of the ceremony in Islamabad where he said that the PIA had taken a progressive step to rebuilding its image in the world and it is a gradient endeavour to rebrand PIA which highlights the commitment for the preservation of Markhor.
He said, “I appreciate the efforts to rebrand the image of PIA and this strategy is practiced worldwide. Markhor is a national animal which is a fighter and does not lose heart in the hard time as it is couraged to climb the mountains regardless of the difficulties. PIA will also touch the heights in the same manner.”
On the occasion, CEO and President of PIA Musharraf Rasool gave a detailed briefing. He said that the official logo of PIA was changed with the image of the national animal Markhor.
“We are constantly trying to achieve the target to make PIA a top of the list airline of the world. We are trying to upgrade the level and standards of given facilities and we are approaching different proposals and strategies to get success,” he stated.
The PM’s advisor on aviation further expressed that they had introduced world-class facilities for the local and international fights and it is their foremost commitment to winning the hearts of the passengers.
Senior officials of the airline and the civil aviation, including Aviation Secretary Irfan Elahi, Chief Operating Officer Zia Qadir Qureshi, Chief Commercial Officer Bilal Munir Sheikh, Chief Technical Officer, Amir Ali and Chief HR Officer Asma Bajwa were also present during the inauguration.
Critics claim that the PIA’s new logo of Markhor is inspired by that of Qantas Airways. The Australian airline shows a ‘flying kangaroo’ on the tail. However, Qantas has retained the flying kangaroo since 1944, and has only made subtle changes from time to time.
Sources privy to the development told Pakistan Today that the change in livery would involve grounding the aircrafts to paint at a cost of over USD 1 million. It also entails expenses on advertising the new logo, sources added.
Complaining about the move, certain PIA officials commented that the money could have been used to repair and update the in-flight entertainment systems (IFES) which are mostly inoperative in most of the planes. Updating the IFES is a regular function that should be carried out after every 6 years to cope with the technological advancements, they added.
It was added that the suppliers of the IFES had stopped manufacturing outdated software which was currently installed in the PIA planes.
HISTORY OF PIA’S LIVERY:
In 2007, Tariq Kirmani, an ex-chairman of the PIA, changed the livery had to revert the old Logo back after facing criticism. Before him, another former PIA chief Ahmed Saeed tried the difficult task only to revert it back.
Originally, the PIA’s livery was in Urdu. It was painted on the airplane’s tail with PIA written in English on the fuselage. Ahmad Saeed was accused of copying the livery of Israel’s El Al when the Boeing 777 aircrafts were inducted.
Meanwhile, PIA faced a new controversy in which the airline handed out sugar packets among passengers with the manufacturing date of July 2018. It was distributed to passengers on March 20. The packet reads, “Specially packed for PIA.”