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PIA used untrained cabin crew to operate 
A320 aircraft creating air safety hazard
KARACHI: May 06, 2014: [Dawn] The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is operating
an Airbus-320, obtained from a Czech company on wet lease, on regular and scheduled routes
allegedly with untrained cabin crew, creating an air safety hazard, it has been learnt through
reliable sources.

To use the untrained crew, the national flag carrier invoked a provision in the relevant law
called “safety minimum” which allows a lesser number of crew to operate an aircraft but
rarely and in an emergency or because of an unforeseen situation, according to the sources.

When contacted, PIA spokesperson said the airline had obtained permission from the regulator,
the Civil Aviation Authority, for the purpose. The CAA spokesperson avoided offering any
comment. The PIA cabin crew’s representatives said that the untrained crew must be under
stress while on broad, a situation tantamount to an air safety hazard.

PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar said that the maximum number of crew required for
A-320 with a capacity of 189 passengers was six but it could be operated with four crew
members under the “safety minimum” provision of the law.

He said two trained crew members, who had come with the aircraft from the Czech Republic,
were always on the flights with their two counterparts from the PIA and that fulfilled the
mandatory requirement of four crew members.

Two other crew members, who otherwise were trained but not on this kind of aircraft, were
sent on the flights to offer services like serving food and making announcements and they did
not participate in any other activity, he said. They are getting on-job training. PIA at present
has 40 trained crew members for the aircraft.

Besides, he said, the CAA and the company which owned the aircraft, had allowed the PIA to
fly it with four trained crew members as such air safety was not being compromised.

But Pakistan Airlines Cabin Crew Association president Nasrullah Afridi said that under the
“safety minimum” provision, the aircraft could be operated by four-member crew but only in
rare cases or emergency situations and it should not be made a routine practice. He said the
airline should not operate regular scheduled flights with less than required number of crew.

He said the untrained crew while performing duties must be feeling stress and operating
flights with stressed crew was an air safety hazard and should be avoided. When contacted,
CAA spokesperson Abid Kaimkhani said he would offer any comment after collecting
information but failed to do so.
 

PIA Umrah flights may halt
 

LAHORE: May 06, 2014: [Dawn] The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation has warned
the Pakistan International Airlines of suspending its Umrah flights to Jeddah if it fails to
overcome delay. The Saudi aviation has also warned the PIA that it would only allow one flight
a day for Jeddah if it does not follow the flight operations schedule.

The ground handling company of Saudia (Ports Projects Management and Development
Company) has pinpointed PIA’s scheduled Umrah flights delay and no prior coordination with
the scheduling department. The PPMDC also held a meeting with PIA officials to discuss the issue.

The PPMDC said: “PIA has operated four Umrah extra section flights without reservation and
approved schedule and it has neither operated 14 approved Umrah flights nor they bothered
to file any cancellation. Over and above PIA has operated 70 per cent of its flights delay of its
schedule.” It said PIA must depute extra manpower to handle delayed flight at Haj terminal.
The PIA must file the delay at least eight to 10 hours prior to scheduled departure except any
technical issue.

The Saudi aviation authority further said PIA was supposed to fulfill the following instructions.
“Provide all PIA on duty supervisor with one mobile number. Provide PPMDC operation duty
manager with the duty supervisor monthly roster and their telephone numbers. Inform PPMDC
operation duty manager with any changes on schedule flights transferring Umrah passengers.
PIA must ensure that it will not transport normal passengers on Umrah flight.”

PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar told Dawn that it had taken up the matter seriously and
somehow it had overcome the problem. He said congestion at the Jeddah airport was also one
of the reasons for flight delays. He said the PIA faced this problem primarily due to shortage
of the fleet. “In July two more planes will be added to the PIA fleet that will ease up the
situation,” Mr Mashhood said.


A widow of PIA employee could not get justice 
from PIA Management for the last 3 years
KARACHI: May 09, 2014 [[Voice of PIA Retirees Report]] A widow of PIA's deceased employee
had made the following appeal to MD, PIA more than three years back that was printed by
English daily "Daily Times" (Feb 26, 2011) but PIA Management did not bother even to reply her.

"Sir: My husband, late Habibullah Abro [P-20498 / 33141], was working as PSA in the Airport
Services Department and while performing his duty at the Karachi Airport, he died in 1994. I
was unaware of the ‘final settlement’ of my deceased husband from PIA at that time.

I contacted the concerned department recently but I was told that because it was an old case,
it was difficult to find the files and without files, the ‘final settlement’ of my husband would not
be possible. I request the MD, PIA Captain Nadeem Khan Yousafzai, to personally intervene and
instruct the concerned department to help me on a priority basis. I have neither received
dues, provident fund, insurance, etc, of my husband nor am I receiving his monthly pension.
AFSHAN HABIBULLAH, Karachi".

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\26\story_26-2-2011_pg3_7

To PIA MD Mr Junaid & Director HR & Administration Mr Ejaz Mazhar: Kindly help the
widow on priority basis. Her son Arsalan Abro's  contact No. are; 03155236045 / 03332830882 -
May 10, 2014-VOPR.


PIA pilot slaps Traffic staff at Lahore Airport
LAHORE: April 23, 2014 [TV Channels] A PIA pilot Javed Chaudhry has slapped a PIA Traffic
Supervisor Ali Reza at Lahore Airport when he refused to allow excess baggage of Captain's
friend on London-bound flight PK 757 / 23 April 2014 without payment.
 

All Traffic staff left the work immediately by protesting against the highhandedness of the pilot.
Consequently, the departure of the London-bound flight was delayed and the flight left  only
after talk
 after successful dialogues between Peoples Union and Air League.
 

PIA pilot caught at Manchester without visa,
2000 pounds fine on national carrier
KARACHI: April 07, 2014: British authorities have imposed a fine of 2,000 pounds on a Pakistan International Airlines’ pilot and sent him back home after he entered the United Kingdom without a valid visa, it emerged on Sunday. Sources said that the UK authorities had already informed the PIA that all its crew members, whether not on    duty, should have a valid visa whenever they arrive.

The sources said that Captain Mohammad Ali Mansoob had travelled from Islamabad to Manchester on March 30 via a PIA flight (PK-701) as a  non-operating captain. He had to stay in Manchester
 and then operate another flight to New York, they added. 

They said that at Manchester airport he tried to pass the immigration counter by using the space
reserved for the airline crew. However, the Border Force asked for his papers/visa, etc, and held
him after finding out that he did not have a valid visa.

An official letter issued by the British Home Office to Capt Mansoob says: “You have been detained
under paragraph 16 of Schedule 2 to the 1971 Act or arrested under Paragraph 17 of Schedule 2
of that Act.”

The UK authorities also did not allow the PIA pilot to operate a scheduled PIA flight (PK-721) for
New York from Manchester on April 1. Instead, he was sent back to Pakistan, the sources added.

Responding to Dawn queries, PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar confirmed that the pilot had been
caught in Manchester as he did not have a valid visa.

He said that it was the mistake of the pilot that he travelled without a visa so the fine would be paid
by him and it would have no financial implication for the PIA. 
(Courtesy: Dawn dated 07-04-2014).


What an injustice in PIA..!!
Irregularities in PIA's Promotion Board for
F
light Services Dept., MD may take action for justice
KARACHI: May 04, 2014: [VOPR Special Report] Some serious irregularities have
been detected in constituting PIA's Promotion Board for promoting Flight Services
officers i.e. Pay Group V to VI, presently being held from May 04 whereas results
of the previous Board have unnecessarily been delayed that shows lack of
transparency.

Strangely, the the Board has not been constituted as per requirement of PIA rules
& regulations whereas the Board is required to be represented at least by an
officer not less than a General Manager of the concerned department as its
member but here a lady of Pay Group VII is representing the Department instead
of the General Manager that obviously is an illegal act. However, she is presently
working as an Officiating Manager Flight Services (Standard).

The General Manager of PIA Flight Services Raashid H. Khan is already on one
month leave.

It may be pointed out another Promotion Board of PIA Flight Services officers
from Pay Group 6 to 7 & Pay Group 7 to 8 was held about two & half months
back but mysteriously the results have not been declared so far raising
apprehensions of concerned officers about unnecessary delays of the results.
Some candidates when VOPR contacted, alleged that delays may cause some
sort of favourtism by the Management.

The Director of Flight Services Amanullah Qureshi is an Engineer by profession
that shows PIA Management's non-seriousness towards an important department
like Flight Services.

Managing Director, PIA Mr Junaid Younus and Director HR & Administration are
advised to personally intervene for the sake of justice.


PIA's ostrich-like behaviour: Recorder report
KARACHI: April 18, 2014 [Business Recorder Report] It's easy to make a man confess the lies
he tells to himself; it's far harder to make him confess the truth." Pakistan International Airlines
is behaving like an ostrich instead of telling the truth to the people about the suspension of flights
to Saudi Arabia from Friday April 18 in case outstanding dues are not cleared.
 

The case in point here is PIA's denial about the notice given to Pakistan International Airlines by
General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) that "no PK flights will be allowed to operate ex/to
Kingdom of Saudi
 
Arabia (KSA) from Friday April 18." PIA spokesman clarifying airlines position
on the outstanding payment
 and subsequent notice from General Authority of Civil Aviation GACA
Saudi Arabia is like burying one's head
 in sand and crying "all is well". 

A communication from PIA's country manager in Saudi Arabia to PIA management said, "Please
note that GACA authorities have given clear instruction that if payment for GACA Invoice
No 02-12-26-90033, dated: 18-November-2005, 17-Shawal-1426 for SAR 443160/- for landing/parking
charges is not settled by tomorrow, PIA operation effective Friday 18-Apr-2014 will be suspended
and no PK flights will be allowed to operate ex/to KSA."
 

The invoice mentioned was disputed by PIA but the royal authority President of GACA had issued
orders that effective 17-APR-2014, operation of all airlines who have not yet settled their dues
will be suspended at all airports of KSA.
 

As per sources The Director Air Transport - GACA who called the meeting showed his annoyance
for not taking this GACA instruction seriously as they have already given deadline for the suspension
of PIA Operation in case of non-settlement of GACA old dues but as of today GACA dues remain
unsettled. It is worth mentioning here that last week after huge effort, we were able to convince
Manager Scheduling-GACA who agreed to further re-instate PK flights in system but now situation
is very critical and the authorities will not further extend its deadline. Due to this, GACA Officials are
not entertaining any of PIA request pertaining to any change in slots timings or for additional Umrah
slots due to its long outstanding payment issue.
 

On April 4 PIA Jeddah office had informed higher management that "Abdul Mohsin, Director Operation
King Abdul Aziz International Airport KAIA called us for meeting and conveyed strict instruction of
The President of GACA to KAIA Operation that not to schedule any flight of the airlines who have not
yet settled their outstanding invoices of GACA. In compliance of this Presidency instruction, Abdul
Mohsin informed that PIA flights are also being removed from KAIA System and will be fed after
the payment of all GACA long outstanding invoices."
 

"Keeping in view the sensitivity of the matter and to avoid suspension of PIA operation ex/to KSA,
we again approached Abdul Mohsin, Director Operation KAIA and gave written undertaking that
within 02 all GACA outstanding invoices will be settled and payment will be released accordingly".
 

"Abdul Ghani after the written assurance given by PIA agreed to re-instate the PK flights till
tomorrow only and in case of non-payment of GACA dues within the given time limit all PIA
flights will be removed from KAIA system and no flights will allowed to operate ex/to JED"
 

PIA's country manager had further informed that: "since the outstanding invoices including parking
and rental charges is covered under royal degree and its payment has to be made on must basis,
it is therefore, strongly suggested that approval may be granted to JEDPK on immediate basis
in order to avoid suspension of PIA operation to KSA." "Please accord priority to our above request
to avoid any unpleasant situation/action likely to be taken by the GACA/KAIA authorities,"
he said.
 (Courtesy: Business Recorder, dated April 18, 2014).

Sword of Damocles hangs over PIA: Recorder
KARACHI: April 14: [Business Recorder Report]: Sword of Damocles hangs over national carrier,
Pakistan International Airlines. The reason, its sloppy flight operations which may result in ban
to operate flights to France and suspension of its flights on non-payment of long outstanding
dues to General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of Saudi Arabia. 
PIA has been operating flights to France for the last one year without getting schedule approval from
their aviation authorities. 'The French Aviation authorities have been asking the management of PIA to
take approval for flights they operate to France but the non-professional management is still indifferent
to this very important issue and keep operating flights without schedule approval's, a source in PIA
told 
Business Recorder here on Saturday. 
 
 He said that this non-serious approach could result in a ban on PIA, restricting it not to operate flights
for France. 'Last week, the French aviation authorities wrote to PIA that they have not yet received
the request for scheduled flights PIA is operating to France since last winter season (2013-14). This
meant that PIA had been operating flights for the past one year without taking approval, which is
height of non-professionalism and negligence,' added the source. 
 
 It is quite shocking, he questioned, why the management did not seek approval from French
authorities and continued operating flights? 'As per rules, all requests/applications for scheduled flight
operations for France need to get approved from French aviation authorities at least 30 days before
actual operations,' the source said. 

The French aviation authorities reminded PIA management on October 16, 2013 of this mandatory
approval but PIA management did not bother to answer them. 'Even after that reminder, PIA
management did not submit the schedule of their flights for winter season 2013-14 and summer
season 2014. This is a clear example how badly the airline is being managed by non-professional
staff,' he said. 
 
 The source said having no clue what PIA is going to do, French aviation authorities once again
requested the management to inform them what PIA is intending to plan during next winter
aeronautical season. 
 
 Similarly, the operations of PIA to Jeddah are in serious danger of suspension over non-payment
of long outstanding dues to the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of Saudi Arabia by the
national airline. 
 
 According to the source, King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) authorities have conveyed to
the management of PIA a strict warning of President GACA that if the airline fails to clear its long
outstanding dues they will not allow it to operate flights to Saudi Arabia. 
 
 'They gave last warning to PIA and clearly ordered not to schedule any flight to Jeddah if dues are
not settled soon. They are removing the PIA flights from KAIA's system and could only allow them
if the management clears the dues for 2012,' said the source. 
 
 The source further said that PIA has to pay outstanding amount regarding parking and rental
charges which is covered under Royal decree. 'PIA management has to clear the amount on immediate basis due to the sensitivity of the issue. If they fail, PIA operations will surely be suspended for Saudi Arabia,' added the source. 
 
 PIA, the source further said, has also to pay old dues besides current charges. 'The management
has been asked to settle old dues as well, particularly payment of disputed invoice (02-12-26-90033)
dated December 19, 2005, amounting to SA Riyals of 443160 for excess parking charges.' 
 
 Besides this likely suspension of operations, PIA could also face non-approval of its summer-2014
program. 'The GACA has held the approval of PIA's summer-2014 landing schedule in abeyance
till these outstanding payments are settled.' 
 
 Similarly, PIA management has not yet provided to Hong Kong's department of health with the
certificates whether it has disinfected its Airbus A 310 (APBGR) or not which operated PK 892 last
year on October 11 on which Hong Kong authorities had detained a malaria patient. 
 
 'The port health inspector of Hong Kong's department of health has been asking the management
of PIA since December last to provide them with few documents, but to no avail. It was regarding
a passenger who was found suffering from malaria while on board at Pk-892 that reached
Hong Kong on October 11, 2013,' said the source. 
 
 They wrote to PIA management on December 14, 2013, to provide them with a scanned copy of
the work sheet/job card/disinfection certificate regarding the disinfection done on the said aircraft
(registration number APBGR) after October 11, 2013 for their record. 
 
 'They also asked for the flight schedule of the aircraft APBGR if it is coming to Hong Kong in
February-March this year again for follow up inspection,' added the source. 
 
 And yet again they reminded the PIA management on February 5 this year to give them the said
documents and information. 'Failing to receive any response from PIA, they once again asked for
the said documents last week. It is feared that PIA's indifference to this issue would result in a
ban on the airline to enter Hong Kong,' added the source. 
 
 On the other hand, the management is being helpless against the Czech crew of the two A-320
aircraft which were acquired on wet lease. 'The management has been told that the Czech crew
would not operate the aircraft for Peshawar destination due to security issues. The Czech airline
has officially informed the management about this development,' said the source. 
 
 He further added it is quite ridiculous and the PIA management is unable to do anything in this
regard. 'Now the situation has come to a point where PIA management is being dictated by even
foreign crew of leased aircraft. Will now PIA has to include a clause in future leasing agreements
to get the foreign crews operate flights as per official schedules to any destination?' asked the
source. 
 
 Whatever are the reasons, the above mentioned issues show that things have gone from bad to
worst at PIA and the government will have to step in to set things right and stop heavy deterioration
of this national asset, concluded the source. 

PIA revival plan approved to get

20 narrow-bodied aircraft on lease
ISLAMABAD: March 16, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved in principle a plan for revival of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), aimed at bringing the national flag-carrier, currently running in losses of billions of rupees, to a break-even level within a year, by increasing revenue and taking cost-cutting measures. Under the plan, 20 new generation, narrow-bodied and fuel-efficient planes will be inducted into the fleet with Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 as the preferred options, besides getting four Boeing 777 and then same number of ATR 72-500 aircraft on ‘dry lease’. 

The decision comes at a time when all eyes are on the proposed privatisation of PIA. The
government has given a written assurance to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that 26
per cent shares of PIA will be sold by the end of this year.

An official, when asked if the decision to invest heavily in PIA meant a shift in the plan to privatise
the state owned airline, said the restructuring and privatisation could go together.

Chairing a meeting held on Sunday to review the reform and restructuring plan, including strategic
partnerships, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that over the years, mismanagement and structural
inefficiencies in the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) had marred public sector governance.

“Continuous injection of resources into the SOEs is fiscally not sustainable on an indefinite basis and
the most viable option available is to structure them through strategic partnership with the private
sector after 26pc off-loading of shares,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Aviation Shujaat Azim told reporters after the meeting
that three planes had been obtained on lease, while tenders for getting 10 narrow-bodied aircraft
had been floated and the bids were to be opened on March 7. He said that subsequently another seven planes would be inducted.

He said induction of new planes into the fleet was expected to generate annual revenue of Rs72
billion at 85pc seat factor and 12.5-hour utilisation per day.

He said there were 34 aircraft in PIA’s fleet, of which 24 were operational. The fleet includes seven
26-year-old Boeing 747 and 737 and 12 20-year-old Airbus A310 planes. The average fleet age comes to around 17 years. Mr Azim pointed out that the average fleet life of international airlines
was less than 10 years. Selling the four Boeing 747 and 12 Airbus aircraft after induction of the new fleet is also part of the plan. He said the present fleet was geared for medium- and long-haul routes
while 62pc passengers travelled on short routes. Induction of suitable aircraft can considerably
cut the fuel cost.

He said wrong use of 777 aircraft on short sectors due to non-availability of short-haul planes also
incurred a high cost on engine overhaul which was based on flight cycles. An engine overhaul
costs $8 million. The special assistant said the turnaround strategy also involved restructuring of the
airline and creation of strategic business units.

Of the PIA passengers, 16pc travel on long routes, including the United Kingdom, United States,
Canada and Europe. The medium routes used by 22 pc passengers include Saudi Arabia and the
Far East. The bulk of the traffic goes to and from the Gulf, regional countries and on domestic routes.

Mr Azim said the fuel cost for old A310 came to $5,500 per hour, while the new 737 900ER would
consume fuel worth $2,500 to $2,600.After the fresh induction into its fleet, the PIA plans to use 777
aircraft for long haul routes, A320-232 on medium haul routes and A320, 737NG and ATR for
domestic, gulf and regional routes.

Giving details of other steps being taken to reduce losses, he said aircraft parts’ procurement would
be made only from original equipment manufacturers, all off-line stations were being closed,
performance of all general sales agents was being reviewed and the practice of free seat upgrades
and excess baggage had been stopped.

With 19,418 employees, PIA has one of the highest employee-aircraft ratio in the world of 776. The
average ratio worldwide is around 150.

When asked about reports that over 35 PIA employees were drawing salary of over Rs1 million
per month, Mr Azim said the government had decided to go for a performance audit of the airline
through international firms and shun favouritism and nepotism.

He said all the perks and privileges, including free trips, of present and past board members and
their families and the chairman had been stopped. “Gone are the days when they used to enjoy
free tickets and free stay at PIA hotels abroad.” He said the prime minister had approved a plan to
expand Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport.

It has been decided to increase the number of counters at the departure lounges of the Lahore
and Islamabad airports and introduce a passenger-friendly immigration system. He said there was
no plan to relocate the new Islamabad airport from Fateh Jang to Rawat. “Around Rs69 billion has
already been spent on the new airport.”

He said the prime minister had ordered that a passage to the new airport should be provided
directly from the motorway and not through private housing societies.

Since the new airport will be completed by the end of 2016, the Benazir International Airport will be
upgraded. A taxiway will be ready in a couple of months by linking the additional runway with the
main one. The kiosks inside the main lounges will be moved out of the building.

At the Karachi airport, the Civil Aviation Authority has served notices to all airlines to remove their
junk by the end of this month and clear the space.

He said the prime minister would announce a national aviation policy in April and a conference of
international experts would be held in Islamabad this month. He indicated that there would be a
change in the rules for getting a licence for airline operations. 
(Courtesy: Dawn, March 03, 2014).


PIA pilot violates declaration by disclosing secrets, Claims PIA civilian
aircraft had used for military purpose against international law in past

KARACHI: A PIA pilot has written a letter to the editor in a leading English daily Dawn disclosing PIA's secrets for using civilian aircraft for military purpose. While joining PIA he, like other thousands of employees had signed on a declaration that he would not disclose any PIA secrets at any stage. The civilian airlines like PIA are not supposed to be used for military purposes as per international law but the PIA pilot has obviously violated the declaration that he had signed on at the time of joining in PIA service. It is possible such unwanted practice may create difficulties for national airlines in future - The letter is reproduced as under:- ed.
Privatising PIA 
THE defence of our borders by our valiant armed forces in 1965, against an adversary many times stronger, would make any country proud. Here PIA deserves some mention as well.

Our international border had been left undefended. When India attacked, we were caught on the wrong foot. Our ally and friend, the US, immediately slapped a crippling arms embargo on us. We were completely stranded. 

Five PIA Boeings flew all night, every night, during the entire 17-day war. The aircraft were parked on runway dumb-bells at Istanbul, Ankara and Tehran. The crew slept in the cockpit while our aircraft were loaded feverishly and then took off in the early hours to land in Pakistan before dawn, to avoid interception by Indian fighters. Trucks waiting next to the runway immediately whisked off the much-needed ammunition to the battle front. We never ran short. It couldn’t have been done without PIA.

Again in 1971, 10 PIA Boeings were in the air continuously over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. They had to give wide berth to the Indian fighters lurking on the coastline around the Indian peninsula and then dodge ground fire from the Mukti Bahini on landing and takeoff from Dhaka. Nearly four army divisions were transported to East Pakistan in less than a fortnight.

Capt Mubashir, F/O Jawed and N/O Cheema, our unsung heroes, still lie in their watery graves
somewhere near the Karachi shores. A crashed PIA B-707 lay for months near the Urumqi airport.
PIA kept the supply line alive between China and Peshawar despite all odds. They operated from
Tehran where the PIA fleet had been given shelter. Iran was always our friend in need.

PIA served as the de facto ‘Transport Command’ of Pakistan Air Force in 1965 and 1971. Their fleet of heavy, long-haul jets will always be our dire need in eventualities to come. There is a lot more to PIA than just profit and loss. We must think twice before placing it mindlessly in private hands. Capt S. Afaq Rizvi, Karachi. (Courtesy Dawn: March 02, 2014).


A Circular About Increase Of PIA Pension Issued On April 19, 2013

     


A letter of  Mr Chiefy printed in Dawn about pension increase

KARACHI, March 20, 2013: [Report: Mohammad Khan Sial] A leading English daily Dawn has
printed a letter to the editor by Mr Tahir Hasan Chiefy, President, PIA Retired Employees
Association (PIAREA) (Registered) dated March 20, 2013 headlined: "Hapless retirees of
PIA" which reads as under:

Hapless retirees of PIA 
THIS is further to the meeting of the delegation of the PIA Retired Employees Association
(PIAREA) with the chairman of PIA and the defence secretary on Nov 16, 2012 at PIA
Head Office, Karachi, on the subject of our outstanding issues with special emphasis on
the pension increase.

It is appropriate to mention that the warm response, with a promise of substantial increase,
from the chairman enthused us all beyond our imaginations. The meeting lent us a hope to
find the increase just on hand because the pension increase would have been from the
readily available Pension Trust Fund without affecting PIA revenues.

Subsequent to the aforesaid meeting, the PIA chairman has been in communication,
through his address to various sections of employees of all pay groups/cadres, about his
resolve to give a handsome increase to the retirees in order to make the amount of
pension meaningful.

Contrary to the impression gathered so far from the chairman’s chat, the pension increase
is not in sight, though the increase is needed all the more by this hapless segment of PIA
society to offset some pressure of the cost of living. Needless to say that increase in the
pension of PIA retirees/widows has been granted only once during past 10 years.

To add further, the hapless retirees also renew their request for restoration of the 50 per
cent commuted amount of pension to those who have completed 10 years of their
retirement, as well as payment of the group insurance amount on the maturity of policy
for all fairness of things. Moreover, the attitude of discrimination and of denying the lawful
rights of the retired employees of PIA should be changed and they should be given their
legal rights.

Recently, a general body meeting of PIAREA, attended by a large number of members,
inclusive of representatives from all over Pakistan and abroad, was held at Karachi
wherein the pension issue was vigorously pursued as presented above.

As promised repeatedly by the PIA chairman, action is awaited anxiously.

SYED TAHIR HASAN, President, PIA Retired Employees Association, Karachi
http://dawn.com/2013/03/20/hapless-retirees-of-pia/comment-page-1/
 


Low PIA pension, Letters in English dailies

PIA pensioners' misery 
The Nation, Saturday, June 30, 2012

It is sad that the PIA management did not raise the pension even though the government made the announcement. Subsequently, PIA employees are getting a meager amount as monthly pension that is insufficient to pay even one month’s utility bill of their homes. Recently, a delegation of PIA Retired Employees Association met
with the new chairman of PIA Rao Qamar Suleman and drew his attention towards the chicken feed that they were getting.

The employees were assured that their demands would be met but it remains to be
seen if the decision is actually implemented. And even for that the credit goes to the dedicated retired PIA employees. One can only recall with sadness that the Airline was once regarded as one of the best in the world. On behalf of the PIAREA, I appeal to chairman, PIA to look into genuine problems and demands of retired employees by granting them a fair increase in pension.

MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, 
Karachi, 

http://www.nation.com.pk/E-Paper/lahore/2012-06-30/page-7

  Low pension of PIA retirees        
The Pakistan Today, Monday, June 04, 2012

It is sad whenever the government has announced increase in pension, PIA management did not implement. The PIA management did not even implement its own decision to increase pension whenever there was increase in salaries of PIA’s serving employees.

Subsequently, PIA employees are getting meagre amount as monthly pension that is 
insufficient to pay even one monthly utility bill of their homes. Recently, a delegation
of PIA Retired Employees Association met with the new chairman of PIA Rao Qamar Suleman and among others, and drew his attention towards very low amount of PIA pension they are receiving who assured them to consider their genuine problems.

Needless to mention here, it was the result of dedicated efforts of PIA employees, now
retired, the airlines was once known as one of the best airlines of the world.

On behalf of the PIAREA, I appeal to Chairman PIA to look into genuine problems of
retired employees by granting them all increases due in PIA pension so far.

MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, 
Karachi

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/06/03/comment/editors-mail/low-pension-of-pia-retirees/

  Low pension of PIA retirees 
The Frontier Post, Monday, June 04, 2012    

Posted on June 4, 2012

It is sad whenever the government has announced increase in pension, PIA management did not implement, even the PIA Management did not implement its own decision to increase pension whenever there is an increase in salaries of PIA's serving employees.

Subsequently, PIA employees are getting meager amount as monthly pension that is 
insufficient to pay even one month's utility bill of their homes. Recently, a delegation 
of PIA Retired Employees Association (Registered) met with the new chairman of PIA Rao Qamar Suleman and among others, drew his attention towards very low amount 
of PIA pension they are receiving who assured them to consider their genuine problems.

Needless to mention here, it was result of dedicated efforts of PIA employees, now retired, the Airlines was once known as one of the best Airlines of the world.

On behalf of the PIAREA, I appeal to chairman of PIA to look into genuine problems 
of retired employees by granting them all increases due in PIA pension so far.

Muhammad Khan Sial, 
Karachi

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/165009/


PIA's ex-MD writes on PIA's present plight

KARACHI, September 30, 2011: A leading English daily Dawn has printed a letter to the
editor by Syed Mir Mohammad Shah (S M M Shah), ex-Managing Director, PIA dated
Sept 30, 2011 headlined "Threat to flag carriers" which reads as under:

"PIA has played a strategic leading role in the field of commercial aviation in this region.
It was indeed the PIA that helped create airlines such as Emirates and provided technical and management assistance to a number of international airlines in various fields, including engineering and computer technology.

PIA used to be a financially healthy enterprise but has now become financially sick and is surviving only on government subsidies. In fact the money of tax payers is being diverted to an organisation without any direction at the cost of even those facing a situation of life and death in pursuit of food, shelter, and medical care.

It seems a systematic plan is being pursued through which the “PIA is to be partially
or completely removed from the scene of commercial aviation in this region”. It is very
shocking to read the news, “Dubai-based US firm gets contract to buy spares for PIA”
(Sept 28).

Having been very actively involved in management and procurement of spares and
inventory through a computerised system in PIA for a long period of time, I feel very disappointed with this move. PIA used to have the most efficient infrastructure, systems and procedures required for the maintenance of PIA’s own aircrafts as well as aircrafts of other airlines.

In fact, a number of airlines in the region used to get technical and management help
from PIA and even some of the airlines purchased systems from us. With the
advancement in information technology, all stake holders involved in the business of
spare parts are highly automated. Activity of purchase of spares on optimum price has
therefore become simple and straight forward.

Policy of going to outside sources and abandoning own systems, infrastructures,
experience and expertise will not only result in extra costs but dependence on foreign
sources will minimise the scope of the national flag carrier and the airline will have to
compromise on efficiency of keeping the aircrafts airworthy.

In the past, action of scrapping of PIA’s own in-house Reservation system (REPAK)
and going outside the US-based system has already damaged PIA. Hopes and promises made at the time of changeover are hardly being achieved. In fact, the economic condition of PIA is being progressively detoured as a result of ineffective usage of the present reservation system. PIA’s own system was designed and was being operated
considering our local commercial environment and peculiar profile of our customers.
Of course, PIA is now paying hundred times more costs than the cost it used to incur
in operating its own system.

Furthermore, in having an outside system there is a number of serious issues related to
safety and security of the airline in particular and the nation in general. As information
about travelling by PIA, including ministers, politicians, military personnel and
bureaucrats, is available in the system installed in the US and can be conveniently
accessed from where the system is installed, including those hostile to Pakistan.

The res1rvation system now being used by PIA is installed in the US. A possibility always exists that the system may be disconnected at any time as a strategically “economical or political bargain toll”. Once the system is disconnected, operation of
PIA will come to a complete halt and the operation of the airline will have to remain suspended for several months. As a well wisher of PIA who has worked very hard to build the airline I will appeal to present and retired employees of the airline as well as
to loyal citizens of Pakistan to play their moral/legal role to save the airline from destruction.

As dedicated works of the airline has built a very strong foundation of the airline, sincere efforts can always turn around our national flag carrier. Dr S Mir Muhammad Shah, Ex-MD/DMD, PIA, Karachi"
 
http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/30/pia-affairs.html


Letter: PIA pensioners woes

I WOULD like to draw the government’s attention to the injustice PIA’s retired employees have been made to face for a long time.

The national airline gives its employees 32pc of their total salary as pension but the formula (which was adopted in 2003) it applies in the end makes the pension calculated on their basic pays. This is not fair. According to rules, all other government organisations give their retired employees 50pc of their salaries as pensions. This was also in practice at PIA till the end of 2003. Now, the management should revert to the practice.

The retired employees have been demanding that the airline should either give them 50pc pension on the basic pay or make the 32pc pension to be given on their total salaries without the said formula.

Similarly, the payment of commuted amount and Matured Group Insurance should be given to retired
employees at the time of their retirement. According to current practices, the group insurance amount
is paid to the family of an employee on his death during his service up to the age of 60 years. This
was extended after retirement but restricted up to the age of 65 years.

This means if the employee wants his own amount back, he should either die or heirs should arrange
their death before 65 years of age.

This is ridiculous. The management should pay the group insurance to the employees at the time of their retirement or upon their death at any age.

Another issue is of commuted pension. It must be refunded to a retired employee after he attains the
age of 70/75 years or to his heirs as in practice in all government departments because it is a part of pensionable amount mortgaged/sold to the employer by the employee for a period of 10 to 15 years.

The money should never be taken away from retired employees or from their heirs because it is like
a deposit with the employer for an agreed/stipulated period.

Also, the management should increase the pension of retired employees according to its circular
No. 21/2003 dated July 21, 2003. The ground reality is that almost every year there is a plausible increase in the pensions of federal and provincial government employees at the time of budgets. But
it doesn’t happen in PIA. B. A, Karachi
(Dawn, April 02, 2014). https://www.dawn.com/news/1097123/pia-pensioners-woes