PIACL head office will not be shifted to Islamabad: NA told

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Aviation Division Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Friday informed the National Assembly that the head office of Pakistan International Airlines Company Limited (PIACL) would not be shifted to the federal capital.

”The factual position is that the Head Office of Pakistan International Airlines Company Limited (PIACL) is in Karachi and will not be shifted to Islamabad, ” he said during the question-hour in Lower House of the Parliament.

He said PIA was in the process of improving and restructuring the airline to make it a profitable venture despite severe constraints particularly COVID 19 pandemic that has impacted airlines industry including PIACL.

Presently, PIA was operating maximum flights from North of Pakistan, therefore, to meet the operational requirements, few departments had been shifted to Islamabad to run the operation smoothly, he added.

He said PIA was incurring losses for the past few years due to legacy loans. The incumbent government was very keen to make it self-reliant.

Efforts were underway to improve the financial health of the corporation by reducing its losses/deficit through various means. Route rationalization exercise has been carried out. Loss making routes have been closed and flights on profitable routes have been added which has resulted in reduction of losses, he said.

Financial and Human Resource (HR) restructuring was being carried out, he said adding, in line with the HR restructuring process, Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) was offered to reduce HR cost. 1925 employees have opted for VSS. Airline’s core and non-core functions were being separated for which process has been started, he informed.

The current Management of PIA was working tirelessly for the revival of the airline in a phased manner, he said. All the steps have been taken by management to ensure discipline, performance, improving governance of the organization by focusing on aggressive sale and marketing, closure of loss making routes and expansion of productive routes.

Agreements involving financial cost have been reviewed in line with the best industry practices, the minister stated.