PESHAWAR: The People’s Unity of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Employees on Wednesday expressed concern over the handling of affairs of the national flag carrier by the management and asked the caretaker government to save the airlines.
President of People’s Unity which is the Collective Bargaining Agent of PIA, Hidayatullah, said the PIA had been turned into a sinking ship and the people at the helm of affairs were less bothered to rescue the national flag carrier.
He said the PIA had suffered Rs10 billion losses in the past 10 months, which, the CBA office-bearer said, were the highest losses the national flag carrier suffered in the recent years.
The office-bearer alleged the previous government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had appointed non-professionals and ‘blue-eyed’ to the highest positions in the PIA, whose lack of experience was hurting the national flag carrier dearly.
Hidayatullah alleged that the ‘so-called’ aviation experts appointed by the former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi caused huge damages to the PIA. He alleged that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PIA Musharraf Rasool Cyan, has done a doctorate in MBBS and had no experience in aviation.
“The union and senior staff association and some senators have challenged the ‘illegal’ appointment of CEO and others in the superior judiciary,” he added. The union president said the PIA losses swelled to Rs48 billion between September 2017 and June 2018.
When contacted, spokesperson for the PIA, Mashood Tajwar, said the increase in prices of petroleum products, depreciation of rupee against dollar and paying off huge markup on loans were the primary reasons for the increase in the losses. He said the PIA paid up to Rs2 billion markup per month on loans.
The spokesperson rejected the allegations of illegal and against the merit appointments and promotions on higher positions. He said the appointments were being made according to the rules and regulations and in a fair manner. Mashood Tajwar said rules and proper procedures were followed in the appointment of the CEO.