RAWALPINDI: To expedite the divestment process of Pakistan Inter­national Airlines (PIA), the CEO has cancelled the scheduled off days on Saturday and Sunday and instructed senior officials to report to their offices, along with the relevant departmental general managers and their teams, to complete tasks.

The CEO’s directives were communicated via email to all GMs. The email said the CEO chaired a meeting on Sunday afternoon to review the pace of work assigned for the divestment.

The IT officials were directed to remain present in the boardroom to connect and facilitate online meetings.

As the national flag carrier is experiencing billions of rupees in losses, the government has anno­unced privatisation plans for the debt-ridden PIA along with outsourcing airport operations.

The ann­ounce­ment has sparked panic and concern among the airline employees about their jobs and pensions, leading them to plan resistance and protests against the move.

Meanwhile, Senator Raza Rabbani of PPP has stated that PIA can be viable if provided with professional management.

The present management is unable to comprehend the dynamics of a modern aviation industry, he added.

PIA’s Senior Staff Association General Secretary, Safdar Anjum, told Dawn that PIA was progressing in the 1990s when there was no interference from political governments that inducted non-professional individuals and did not add more aircraft to the fleet, leading to the onset of problems.

He blamed the present PIA administration for failing to manage the existing financial crisis.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2023

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