LAHORE: In a rare precedent, the Pakistan International Airlines has given more than 200 ‘free’ round trip tickets for London and Dubai to an entertainment television and some fashion designers as ‘compensation’ for holding a runway fashion show and an awards programme for it.
According to the documents available with Dawn, the management of national flag carrier this month ‘gifted’ 20 business class round trip tickets to the fashion designers for London and as many business class return tickets for Dubai to the TV channel. Besides, around 200 economy class round trip tickets for Dubai were handed over to the channel.
The PIA Runway Fashion Show was held in mid of last month in Karachi where new uniform for its cabin crew and other staff was introduced.
The PIA is in the process of shortlisting the designers for making ‘new uniform’ which is part of its efforts to revive the airline.
Earlier, the PIA had given the impression that the fashion industry people and the entertainment channel had contributed to the show ‘free of cost.’
The free round trip tickets to Dubai and London have cost the PIA millions of rupees which is already in a financial mess and struggling to improve its services. This is perhaps a rare precedent in the PIA’s history to compensate an organisation or a group of people for rendering their services for it.
“I cannot say about the exact number of the round trip tickets to London and Dubai the PIA has given to an entertainment channel and the fashion designers but these have been issued to them in compensation to the PIA Runway Fashion Show and the TV Awards,” PIA spokesman Aamir Memon told Dawn.
He said not a single penny the PIA had spent for the two shows promoting the PIA products. “The tickets were part of sponsorship. In fact, we did not use cash for the two big shows which otherwise involved huge money,” he said.
A source said the PIA should have gone for ‘proper agreement’ with the management of TV channel and the fashion designers for holding the show. “This sets a bad precedence as gifting tickets to such a huge number of people is interpreted differently. If there has been an independent external audit of the financial accounts of the PIA how will the management justify this,” he asked.
Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2015