Monday October 25, 2021

Flying solo

September 23, 2021

The government has approved a financial support package of Rs44 billion to PIA to avert a financial collapse. In the first six months of this year, the airline suffered a loss of Rs25 billion as per the accounts released on June 30. The loss in the second half of the year is expected to be much higher due to a surge in fuel prices and a hefty depreciation of the rupee. Operational and financial restructuring was planned to overcome the problems of the organisation, but it seems to have fizzled out. The question is: why is taxpayers’ money being used to bail out a management which has made serious blunders?

The airline remains banned from operating in the EU after the scandal of fake licences of pilots that surfaced in 2020. The country’s civil aviation ministry is equally responsible for the damage inflicted to the aviation sector in Pakistan. It is agonising that a national institution, once a source of pride that helped other countries in setting up their airlines, is slowly seeing its own demise.

Arif Majeed