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WASHINGTON: Pakistan International Airlines has become an efficiently managed modern airline with an excellent record of safety and “on time” performance, with its own training and maintenance facilities and with Pakistanis carrying out all the key jobs.

This was stated by the administrator of the Agency for International Development (AID), Mr. David E. Bell, in a speech before the Aerospace Industries Association in Washington recently, according to a Press release of the U.S.I.S. today [March 13].

Mr David said A.I.D. started in 1955 a seven-year programme of assistance to PIA.

After its conclusion in December 1962, he added, PIA revenues increased by six times and the airline showed a profit as against a loss when the project began.

Passenger miles were up by four times and freight ton-miles had increased by nearly seven-fold, he said.

Giving details of the assistance project, he said the Agency contracted with Pan-American World Airways to provide technical assistance in every field — from pilot training and parts procurement to maintenance and management.

The PAA was called to carry out a related project to install and train Pakistanis to operate radio, navigation and air traffic control instruments.

The Export Import Bank and commercial banks financed the acquisition of new aircraft needed by PIA.

Mr David said the most impressive result of the project, however, appeared in 1963, when PIA launched the Free World’s first national helicopter service in East Pakistan. They carried it out on their own, using four American helicopters.

Original report in full

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2015

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