LAHORE: The Pakistan International Ailrlines (PIA) will lose four aircraft in a couple of months that have outlived their utility.

“Four A310 aircraft (over 200-seats) will be out of PIA fleet by the end of this year as these have outlived their utility,” PIA General Manager Public Affairs Danyal Gilani told Dawn on Sunday.

By that time, he said, the airline would get more planes for their replacement. “We have advertised for acquiring wide-body aircraft on wet and dry lease for both short and long terms.

At present, the A310 aircraft are being used for post-Haj operation which is going to be completed by Monday (today).

The PIA says at present it has 37 aircraft in its fleet including those acquired on wet and dry lease.

Under the wet lease agreement, an airlines provides aircraft, pilots and cabin crew along with maintenance and insurance facilities while under the dry lease only aircraft are provided.

According to another official, the PIA plans to acquire eight aircraft in coming months --four on wet and as many on dry lease. “Sine the PIA has to launch new routes, it needs more planes,” he said, adding the PIA would be operating a direct flight to Spain and Germany in December and January, respectively.

Meanwhile, PIA crew members will receive a “brand new and über-polished” look by January 2017.

According to a spokesman, PIA Chairman Azam Saigol, CEO Bernd Hildenbrand, Director Customer and Premier Service Ms Tabassum Qadir have been given the task to carry out a series of ongoing “grooming makeover.”

Initial sessions were held for four days at PIA training centres in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.

“Grooming sessions incorporating 25-50 crew members per sitting will be held twice a month at PIA’s different training centres. During these sessions an assessment of crew’s present grooming skills in hair and makeup will be done, besides tutoring them on basic skin, hair and nails grooming and a deconstruction in order to reveal their new look.”

Published in Dawn October 17th, 2016

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