Pakistan International Airlines has refuted the claims about “44% deduction of salaries”. PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan confirmed that the airline’s Chief Executive Officer on Monday ordered an inquiry into the matter asking the relevant department to seek an explanation from the concerned individual who made the allegedly false claims, innuendo and maligning the organization to gain personal advantage.
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On November 1 and unnamed spokesperson of Pakistan, Airlines Pilot Association “requested the government to act immediately and resolve the issue of 44% – 25% recent and 19% previous – cut in pilots’ salaries”. According to Abdullah Khan, the pilots “referred to the admin order issued by the Chief HR Officer of the company, Mr Amer Altaf, on the reduction of guaranteed flying hours”.
He said on the basis of that it was claimed that 25 per cent reduction has been made in the salaries of the flyers of the ailing national carrier, severely hit by COVID-19 and European Union suspension after the pilots-gate scandal in the aftermath of May 22, 2020 air accident whereas the Spokesperson for PIA clarified that the salary deductions that were being made since April 2020 have now been discontinued, restoring the salary levels of all employees including the pilots to pre-COVID levels. The same has already been intimated to the airline employees through an email dated October 28, 2020.
The spokesperson clarified that the quoted admin order was issued in line with the Supreme Courts mandated Special Audit of PIA’s (2007-2018) observations to rationalize the excess allowances payments which were guaranteed to the flyers regardless how much they actually flew. The average flying made by a pilot in PIA was closer to 40 hours per month however previously PIA has committed to the pilots that they would be paid 75 hours worth of guaranteed flying allowance, regardless if they flew that much or not, as part of their monthly salary.
With the financial crunch hitting the aviation industry globally and subsequently with the number of flights going down forcing airlines to cut down salaries and workforce, it was purposeless to pay for guaranteed allowances. Now the flying allowance has been set as per actual flying undertaken by the pilots and pilots has been given incremental incentive if they fly more than 50 hours a month. Apart from that, there has been no reduction in the basic salaries, house rents and even in the rate of the flying allowances of the pilots. The spokesperson termed the claims of salary reduction as baseless and as an attempt to gather sympathies by concocting facts.