ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee this week will inquire what it believes was Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)’s dubious Rs700 million deal for the development of an indigenous in-flight entertainment system.

Besides, the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation would also look into reasons for closing PIA’s Hyderabad booking office and the non-operational Mohenjodaro airport.

In 2020, a decision was taken by the national flag carrier that its Boeing-777 aircraft would get new Inflight Entertainment System (IFE) at a modest cost of Rs700 million. This was to help PIA compete on its long-haul flights to Europe and in time to the United States. PIA claimed that its advantage lay in its direct shorter duration flights. However, the absence of the IFI system had badly affected PIA’s revenues.

The measures were necessary as part of its turnaround and in its bid to improve its image and increase its revenues.

PIA’s long haul flights had been without an effective IFE system for quite some time creating embarrassing scenes.

Besides, the absence of IFE system had been adversely affecting PIA’s ability to provide a standard expected flying experience and thus eroding what is called in aviation language the seat factor.

PIA’s competitors on these lucrative routes such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar offered top of the line entertainment systems with hundreds of choices from movies, dramas, music and games.

The Senate committee would also take up questions raised by senators Naseebullah Bazai Tangi and Behramand Khan about the appointment of the current director general Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who the lawmakers believed was not qualified for the position.

The two members had also demanded answers to specific questions regarding the postings of the incumbent DG in the last 15 years.

They also asked for details of the staff appointed with the DG, their qualifications, grades and modes of appointment.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2022

Editorial

Ominous demands
Updated 18 May, 2024

Ominous demands

The federal government needs to boost its revenues to reduce future borrowing and pay back its existing debt.
Property leaks
18 May, 2024

Property leaks

THE leaked Dubai property data reported on by media organisations around the world earlier this week seems to have...
Heat warnings
18 May, 2024

Heat warnings

STARTING next week, the country must brace for brutal heatwaves. The NDMA warns of severe conditions with...
Dangerous law
Updated 17 May, 2024

Dangerous law

It must remember that the same law can be weaponised against it one day, just as Peca was when the PTI took power.
Uncalled for pressure
17 May, 2024

Uncalled for pressure

THE recent press conferences by Senators Faisal Vawda and Talal Chaudhry, where they demanded evidence from judges...
KP tussle
17 May, 2024

KP tussle

THE growing war of words between KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and Governor Faisal Karim Kundi is affecting...