THE Cabinet Committee on Privatisation has delisted PIA from the privatisation list. The national carrier is bleeding the government financially to the tune of Rs2 billion monthly in operational losses. Perhaps it would be ideal to bifurcate the airline into international and domestic segments.
The government has appointed a senior Pakistan Air force officer as its new chairman to revitalise the ailing organisation, a huge financial drain on the national exchequer.
For its international routes, the airline may retain its current nomenclature and for domestic routes it could be named as Pakistan Airways. On these routes it would be viable to fly a combination of medium sized planes such as Boeing 737, Airbus 319/320/222 or ATR 600 series.
As for regional and international routes, PIA already has variants of Boeing aircraft supplemented by Airbus 320s.
At present PIA has some 46,000 employees on its rolls which considering the size of the fleet has been termed unsustainable.
Perhaps by splitting the airline, the management might be able regulate operational losses.
The new boss, Air Vice Marshal Arshad Khan, has his task cut out for him. Whether he can emulate the feat of his illustrious predecessors, Air Marshals Asghar Khan and Nur Khan only time will tell?
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2018