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PIA and glory days

January 06, 2013

I ENDORSE Dr Shahid Qayyum’s letter saying PIA was once a model (Dec 22). I have also read Capt Afaq Rizvi’s letter (Dec 21).

I have had the privilege of travelling first class and economy in every type of aircraft that PIA has operated over the last 40 years.

DC 3 from Dhaka to Irsherdi used to land on a grass trip. The propeller-driven Super Connie had the first class at the rear to avoid noise. Flying time to Dhaka was six hours.

Senior pilots were friends who include Captain Abdullah Baig, Johnny Yakoob, late Capt Azam Jan, Chief Sector Pilot East Pakistan, Captain Felix, Captain Khalid, and others.

The quality and calibre of staff recruited was so high that a steward went on to become general manager of flight services. Similarly, my interaction was also with reservation staff, ground staff, and others.

Therefore, I can say without hesitation that it has been the deterioration of staff calibre and honesty at all levels which has led to the present situation. If merit is sacrificed at the cost of ‘sifarishi’ appointments, what else do you expect? This is, in brief, what ails PIA.