Immediate improvements in airline not possible, PIA tells Supreme Court

Immediate improvements in airline not possible, PIA tells Supreme Court Immediate improvements in airline not possible, PIA tells Supreme Court

Administration of the Pakistan International Airlines on Friday informed the Supreme Court that bringing immediate improvements to the national carrier was not possible.

The apex court was hearing the airline's privatisation case.

As the hearing went under way, a response from PIA's administration was submitted to the court. According to the document, Pakistan's unfavourable circumstances have affected the airline. 

The response further said that losses on most routes and excess staff were the primary reasons that resulted in the airline's losses.  

According to PIA administration, most aircraft have been grounded since last year. Political interference and a largely demotivated staff have added to the challenges faced by the national carrier, the response stated.  

The airline's total loss has reached Rs406 billion, with a total of just Rs111 billion assets. PIA's administration further informed the top court that the airline's staff lacked the required experience and expertise. The airline is operating on the same pattern as government departments, PIA's response stated. 

The national carrier's business model cannot make it profitable, the response further stated, adding that the national carrier was facing a lot of hindrances in its efforts for improvement due to the presence of workers' unions. 

A thirty-percent improvement in the sale of tickets is because of the new administrative steps, the response said. It further added that the airline's income increased by five per cent in the past year, with an 8.5 per cent improvement in income from cargo service.  

PIA's response also explained that an intent to remove the national flag from the aircraft was not involved in the decision to place a Markhor's picture on the tail. The flag's placement was moved to the centre of the aircrafts' bodies. The response further stated that a possibility to even consider removing the national flag from the aircraft did not exist.

The response pleaded with the Supreme Court to issue orders to facilitate the national carrier's administration. It also requested the court to allow the recruitment of qualified staff and bar union leaders from using propaganda as a means of creating hindrances.  

PIA's adminsitration also requested the court to expedite the cases related to the airline, withdraw the order to remove the Markhor's image from aircraft, and order the removal of the national carrier's CEO from the Exit Control List (ECL).  

The hearing is currently under way.

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