KARACHI: A new organisation, Pakistan Airways, has been registered as a ‘premium service subsidiary’ of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

This was announced by a spokesman for the national flag carrier in a statement on Saturday.

He said the step would improve the service and image of the airline.

Secretary Privatisation Commission Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera last week confirmed the government's intent to move ahead with privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

“Currently, it is under consideration to bifurcate PIA into core and non-core businesses. The core business will comprise PIA flight operations, landing and handling, kitchens, training and education, engineering and healthcare, which will be handed over to the strategic investor,” Mr Sukhera said, adding that the non-core business, such as real estate and hotels would not be handed over to a strategic partner.

Opposition to the sell-off was intense. PIA employees in early February went on protest after the government refused to accept a four-point agenda proposed by the Joint Action Committee of PIA employees and put off privatisation.

However, the protests ended on Feb 9 after "a kind friend advised us to call off the strike," JAC chairman Sohail Baloch had said, urging "all airline workers to work with full dedication and pay no heed to anyone trying to disrupt flight operations".

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2016

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