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PIA requires permanent CEO: SC

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan has noted that PIA required a permanent CEO who could run the National Flag Carrier professionally and turn the organisation into a profitable entity. 

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice  Gulzar Ahmed has today declared Air Marshal Arshad Mehmood Malik’s appointment as head PIA illegal.

Meanwhile, saying that he could not hold two positions Arshad Mehmood Malik has been asked to choose between serving in the PAF or as CEO PIA.

“Arshad Mehmood Malik should resign from the air force and permanently join PIA. Only one thing can be done, either work in PAF or PIA,” held the CJP.

Relevant pieces published earlier: 

Arshad’s appointment as PIA Chief defended

16th of February, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Additional Attorney General Khurram Saeed speaking on behalf of the federal government apropos appointment of Malik Arshad as CEO of PIA.

He pointed out that during Malik’s tenure as the PIAC’s CEO the financial performance of the corporation had improved: its since its operating loss was reduced by 75 per cent and revenue increased by 44pc.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed were hearing the case of Air Marshal Malik against the SHC’s order which had restrained him from carrying out any function as PIA CEO.

PIA CEO Case: SCP rejects Air Marshal Arshad Malik’s appeal

21st of January, 2020

ISLAMABAD: SCP has today rejected the appeal of Air Marshal Arshad Malik to remain PIA’s CEO.

The three-member bench, headed by CJP Gulzar Ahmed, questioned how could Arshad Malik appoint (four air vice marshals, two air commodores, three wing commanders and one flight lieutenant in the national airline) when he himself was appointed on deputation.

PIA CEOArshad Malik had filed a petition in the SCP, requesting for a stay order against SHC order which restrained him from working as PIA’s CEO.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah raising concern over reports apropos awarding of a bid of Rs. 70 million to an air commodore and augmenting PIA fares by 100%,  held: “We want to see if the advertisement of PIA CEO’s post was designed with Arshad Malik in mind as he does not have the pre-requisite qualification, education or the expertise required for the job.”

“You are running the national airline’s affairs like those of a family business. How can you manage PIA when you failed Shaheen Airways miserably?” Justice Sajjad Ali Shah questioned.

According to the orders of SCP a BoG would be looking after the PIA affairs.

Revival of PIA one of govt.’s top priorities: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan chairing a meeting held here today in order to ponder over the means for rehabilitation of PIA and transforming it into a profitable institution was among top priorities of the government.

PM expressed satisfaction on the process of continued reforms in PIA. The huddle discussed at length the matters of aviation division especially the fruits of recent reforms and better management of national airports.

PIA Chairman Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood apprised the meeting that 47 more flights have been introduced and two new aircraft have been added into the fleet of PIA.  He said the incumbent administration of PIA was working day and night to further improve the performance of national carrier.

The meeting also took into account the progress in implementation of decisions regarding better management practices at nation’s airport and to facilitate the passengers.

PIA sacks 1000 surplus employees

KARACHI: PIA, the Pakistani Flag-carrier, while endeavoring to reduce operational cost has sacked 1000 surplus employees.

Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA), commenting on this development stated that the current non-conducive environment at PIA had been resulting in the non-retention of its talent. PALPA pointed out that eight pilots have resigned this year while many others were considering this option due to poor policies and unfair scheduling of flights by PIA management.

By means of a correspondence PALPA President Rizwan Gondal has informed the DG Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) that the pilots called it a day due to crew fatigue with double sets/augmented crew. According to PALPA President PIACL has recently introduced  changes in FDTL planning which carries a very high element of fatigue, “cost cutting exercise is actually compromising flight safety,” he added.

PALPA President maintained that increased flights were in violation of the bilateral PALPA-PIAC Working Agreement 2011-2013 and this new flight situation would not allow pilots to avail themselves of the allocated rest time. He pointed out that rest periods before and after the flights were not defined by the operator and were not reflected on their rosters.

“PIACL schedule has failed to keep in mind the effects of fatigue, compounding adverse effect on crew health and therefore safety of flight. The same is reflected in a number of captains’ de-briefs. Majority of our crew are reluctant to accept these flights. However, those on contract are forced to carry out these duties under pressure in fear of losing their contracts.

“As a result of such policies, the backlog is tremendous. Our membership is suffering professional anxiety on account of being deprived of their legitimate expectancy.” Claiming that pilot productivity was at its lowest and present way of doing the job was unworkable, Gondal said that the management was not ready to reconsider.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.