Signs of improvement have started to appear in PIA in just one year’s time, though there are still many challenges ahead to overcome and many more new heights to achieve. In a video message to the people of Pakistan, CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik highlighted airline’s one year’s achievements, future plans and challenges.
He said that PIA’s revenue during the past six months has increased by more than 40 percent; seat factor also improved and is now between 80 to 84 percent which is considered a good performance indicator in the Aviation Industry. The airline’s cargo space utilization increased from 50 percent to almost 80 percent. PIA also enhanced its engineering capabilities and now aircraft maintenance i.e. line maintenance and Check A can be performed at Lahore and Islamabad. This facility was previously only available at Karachi. This allows for saving cyclic costs and ageing of the aircraft and maintenance leading to cost savings.
He said two aircraft that were grounded since long, were made serviceable this year and now all Boeing 777s and A320 aircraft in PIA fleet are operational and contributing towards revenue generation. A proper aircraft spares inventory planning program, which was lacking before, has also been implemented in PIA which has reduced the aircraft down time and better serviceability of aircraft. He shared that the ground service equipment which plays an important role for any airline was left neglected in the past. The ground service equipment that was left as scrape has been overhauled utilizing the airline’s own resources thus saving millions of rupees which was given to other service agencies. PIA this year renewed its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification and is now in the process of attaining EASA certification. PIA’s property assets in Pakistan and abroad were neglected and abandoned in past, this year we identified these properties in USA, Amsterdam, Iran, Tashkent and other countries and are trying to make better use of them.
PIA has introduced 13 new routes since last 12 months, increased frequencies of flights based on demand prospects and commercial viability. Unlike the past all business decisions are now made collectively. CEO PIA said that plans are underway for operating direct flights to New York. Preliminary meetings have been held in this regard and PIA is complying with the security and safety standards of TSA.
Two narrow body aircraft will also be inducted in PIA fleet by the end of this month. He said that no planning or up-gradation was made in the past for inflight entertainment and passengers’ comfort on board the aircraft. This year, the in-flight system is being planned to be upgraded for the convenience of passengers on long haul flights. Co-branding initiatives have also been taken to promote tourism in Pakistan and for providing better services to the passengers.
He said that merit has been implemented in PIA and all promotions and foreign posting have been done purely on merit without any outside influence. He thanked the Government for giving their full support in this regard. Referring Human Resources in PIA, he said that majority of the airline operations are from Islamabad and adjoining cities while most of the Human Resource was based at Karachi.
Terming the Human Resources in PIA as an Asset, he said that now employees have been positioned according to the size of operation & number of flights that are operating from Islamabad. It is heartening to see these achievements in such a short time. CEO PIA said, “Make us proud by choosing PIA and we will look after you (passengers) and together we will achieve greater heights not only for PIA but for our pure land Pakistan”.