RAWALPINDI: With the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)’s voluntary separation scheme (VSS) and segregation of core and non-core employees, the staff strength per aircraft would come down to the ideal aviation industry ratio.
The PIA says that 2,000 applications for VSS have been received by the management, mostly from senior employees, and 1,924 of them have been approved. The management has asked the government to release Rs9.8 billion to pay those applicants whose applications have been approved.
After the release of funds, all PIA employees who are eligible to avail VSS will be paid till January 31, 2021. However, the technical staff, including the deputy chief engineer and technical ground operators have not been considered under VSS as they are required by the airline due to their experience.
After the VSS scheme is implemented, the strength of PIA employees will come down to 8,500.
Earlier, the PIA management presented a summary to the government in November 2020 for Rs12.69bn for paying 3,000 employees and workers under VSS.
The PIA launched the VSS for its employees on Dec 7, 2020 with a validity of two weeks, but its deadline was extended till Dec 28 and then finally till Dec 31.
A PIA spokesman said that reducing the workforce through an honourable separation scheme was part of the business plan and the next step would be segregation of core and non-core functionaries.
He further said: “Reducing the workforce and segregation of core and non-core functionaries, the employees’ strength per aircraft would come down to the ideal aviation industry ratio.”
According to sources, about 270 cabin crew members, including nine pilots, have applied for voluntary separation. Of them, 94 crew members are from Islamabad, 90 from Karachi, 70 from Lahore and 16 from Peshawar.
The PIA has set a reduction target of 7,500 employees. Of the 7500 employees, 3,500 will be relieved under VSS and 4,000 under segregation of core and non-core functions. Non-core functions include engineering, food service/flight kitchen, technical ground services, precision engineering and Speedex courier service.
Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2021