RAWALPINDI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to cut the salaries and benefits of 450 pilots, 400 engineers and 27 finance department officials in a move geared at balancing the airline’s more privileged class allowances and benefits with those of other employees.

The head of PIA’s human resources department issued a notification regarding the reduction in benefits on Wednesday.

According to the notification, captains will be paid a 50-hour guarantee allowance instead of 75 hours. Previously, pilots were paint the guaranteed 75-hour allowance even if they did not fly.

The PIA said the allowance will now only be paid after completing 50 flying hours a month. Applications for illness for more than five days at a time will not be acceptable without a medical board.

Higher salaries and privileges for privileged engineers and employees attached to the finance department have also been integrated. The notification said concessions were cut in the wake of the financial crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez Khan said that many PIA employees had had a longstanding demand for equal concessions.

He said the privileged and higher paid employees had gradually increased their privileged due to their power.

Many PIA employees were uneasy about government audits and Supreme Court orders were also cited in this regard.

He said that there are 450 pilots, 400 engineers and 27 finance department officials who will be affected by the reduction in salaries and benefits, but cabin crew are not among them.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2020