It is good to hear from Minister for Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique that despite an annual loss of Rs 20 billion, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is going to achieve its highest revenue target of Rs 170 billion during the current fiscal year.
He said PIA is operating with a fleet of twenty eight aircraft and the magic number required to take the airline out of financial crisis is about forty aircraft, expressing confidence that the airline is aiming to achieve this number with its own resources.
Khawaja Saad Rafique proved his efficiency in previous stint as Minister for Railways. During that period between 2013-2018, Minister for Railway made important headways to improve the performance of Pakistan Railways and that not only enhanced its revenue but also level of passenger satisfaction.
Now this time, Khawaja Saad Rafique has been given additional portfolio of Aviation and we are confident that he will also deliver on this front as well and undo wrongs of the past.
PIA was the pride of Pakistan and people used to prefer flying on it yet the way it was neglected and merit based appointments discarded seriously damaging the airline and its professional functioning.
As national flag carrier is earning good revenue this year, priority should be given to further improve working conditions of the staff and proper maintenance of existing fleet.
Necessary renovation of all aircrafts should be done so that passengers get same ambience that they get in other top ranking airlines.
Most importantly, its resources especially in New York and Paris should be fully brought back into use to generate revenue from them.
Outsourcing of airports will also contribute in this regard and then these resources can be used to gradually increase PIA fleet.
We believe the PIA is on path of revival and there is no reason that it cannot get back its old glory provided policies are followed with consistency and negligence is given no room.