Editorial

PIA deserves better management not ad hoc fire fighters

PIACL management in a meeting with the newly appointed advisor to PM.

Pakistan International airline retired its A310s last year but within 3 months it is kind of regretting its decision. The airline requested aviation division to get it waiver from National Aviation policy 2015, article 4.2, prohibits operation of aircraft older than twenty (20) years, beyond March 2017 in any Pakistani airline. But why things came to this point? Hajj is not something that just descended out of the blue? Why PIA never planned this and why it failed to get planes on wet lease when it could and when there were planes available for wet lease. The answer is simple PIA board from top to bottom is full of incompetent people who fail to deliver every single time. Now thats a strong statement to make but we can explain.

PIA is run by fire fighters and they are not ordinary type they are of the highest caliber who know nothing about aviation. This is not us saying but the senate’s special committee on PIA said this (minus the crook word) but in private the members of the committee have been saying this. In last one year PIA has issued tenders for wide body and narrow body on wet and ry leases. Apart from the 3 Pegasus Boeing 737-800s nothing materialised. Here is a chronology of crookedness of PIA board in last few months.

  1. PIA failed to get 2nd A330 from Sri Lankan that it agreed with the airline and as a result sent the already debt stricken Sri Lankan airline into tail spin. It is acing court cases as a result of PIA’s deal.
  2. Then PIA failed to get the Airbus A330 aircrafts from Turkish airlines after shortlisting and finalising the deal with the airline.
  3. Then PIA issued a tender for wet lease of 2 wide body aircrafts but the board because they haven’t got a clue about anything decided to have aircrafts on dry lease.
  4. Then PIA decided to issue a tender for dry lease of two wide body aircrafts and ignored the fact that Turkish airlines spared the aircraft as per the plan but PIA backed out from the deal, denting its credibility in the process.
  5. Then PIA issued another tender for dry lease of two wide body aircrafts presumably for Hajj flights but according to the new acting CEO the process will not be completed on time so they need some solution quickly and where else to look for than 3 spare planes rusting because nobody in the whole world is ready to buy them.

For a change PIA made a decision that reflects the point that it want to remain in its own means. But on the other hand it shows the acute mismanagement at the highest level and an incompetent system that looks after this and is dragging it down to rock bottom. With tender after tender PIA is wasting public resources and through this the sheer lack of planing and management is becoming obvious. Without even getting into this mess further we have some questions for the PIA board, ministers who are looking into PIA. We are deliberately not asking these questions to PIA because we know for sure that they do not matter.

What is PIA policy for aircraft acquisition. Wet or dry lease and how many?

What PIA wants to do with its ageing Boeing 777 because refurbishing them is going to cost a fortune and they are going to remain with the airline for another 10 year maximum?

Any planing to order new planes or decide the fate of ordered 5 Boeing 777s?

Before that an important question when PIA is going to start planing and then sticking to it?

And finally the fundamental question who is running the airline and once we have established who that authority is can that entity tell us how can any airline or organisation trust PIA from now after the way Sri Lankan and Turkish Airways were treated?

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