An internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system IOSA designed to access airline's operational management has also been implemented in PIA

Nov 13 - 19, 2006

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the national carrier might have some gray areas on the financial side obviously due to excessive politicization, unionization and overstaff, yet the national carrier has impressively gained on the operational side giving it an edge on the contemporaries.

An internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system IOSA designed to access airline's operational management has also been implemented in PIA. This system uses internationally recognized quality audit principals and addresses the service areas that are considered most essential to the operational safety of the airline. Only a few world-renowned airlines in the world have this certification.

PIA's Engineering & Maintenance also generates revenue through outside party jobs, which has been continuously growing since acquiring approval in year 2004. The PIA's Precision engineering complex was also recently awarded the Boeing 777 parts production, which is indeed a milestone for Pakistan International Airlines.

In order to bring in tangible benefits and to show "perceptible signs of improvement" in the airlines service delivery standards, the management systems and work procedures of the Flight Services Department of the PlA's Quality Assurance Directorate was recently awarded the ISO 9001:2000 by (BVQI) Bureau Veritas Quality International.

Pakistan International airlines has a clear Vision, Mission and Values formulated by the employees themselves, with a sense of ownership and commitment, the airline has a Code of Ethics to function as an efficient and vibrant organization, geared to meet the needs of its valued customers and to become a World Class profitable airline exceeding customer expectations.

The steps taken by the Chairman and CEO PIA, Tariq Kirmani together with the employees are striving to achieve results that help in getting more passengers and increase revenues leading to good dividends for the shareholders. All efforts are aimed at improving the performance of the airline foremost, being the satisfaction of the Stakeholders.

The concept of 3 C's that are Convenience, Comfort and Competitiveness initiated by the Chairman & CEO PIA, Tariq Kirmani are being followed devotedly by the airline. Convenience aspect means that every passenger who travels by PIA, from the time they make a decision, pick up their luggage and when they reach their destination, their trip must be convenient, from start to finish. On board, during the course of their flight, they must be comfortable in every way and well looked after. Competitiveness as to the overall context of aviation fares, the airline should not lag behind but match the fares in accordance with the going market rates.

Since the airline industry is both a service industry and a highly competitive business PIA is focusing on aligning itself to work for becoming a world class airline keeping in view the service concepts of passenger's convenience and passenger comfort, along with competitiveness, as mentioned.

The airline has upgraded its Call Center, introduced the Complaint Management System (CMS), enhanced the services of the Awards Plus Program, started free pick up and drop service for Club Class passengers, E-ticketing and easy check-in services, introduced Automated ticketing machine at Jinnah Airport which will soon be installed at all major airports all for the comfort & convenience of its passengers.

PIA maintains its aircraft according to the International Standards, all checks are conducted in a routine manner and immediate actions are taken, rectifying all aspects under consideration, if any on a top priority basis. All maintenance approvals are also renewed and updated by the airline on a continuous basis. The airline was awarded the Part-145 Maintenance Organization Approval of PIA Engineering & Maintenance with an extension in the scope of approval, which covers Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft for heavy maintenance jobs.

Overall scope of the approval comprises of Base and Line checks for Boeing 777-200, 747-200,747-300,737-300, 737-400, Airbus A300B4, A300B2, A310-300 aircraft, General Electric CF6-50 series, CF6- 80C2 and CFMI CFM 56-3 series engines and APUs' of Honeywell GTCP 660-4, GTCP 85-129 series TSCP 700-5 / -4B. This also includes numerous avionics and aerospace components of different aircraft systems.

The European Civil Aviation authority has started a Safety Assessment program of foreign aircraft (Safa) program. The purpose of this program is to complement the ICAO's universal oversight program (USOAP) in Europe through annual inspection of aircraft at airports for conducting inspections of third country aircraft under the SAFA (Safety Assessment of foreign Aircraft).

The scope of the checks extends to the general condition of the aircraft (both the interior and exterior), cargo containers and loading, maintenance status and the validity of crew licenses with a checklist of 53 items for these ramp checks. The purpose of these checks is to improve air transport safety in/to/from Europe through an inspection policy in accordance with standards laid down by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

PIA's aircraft B-777, B-747-300/200 and A-310 have been randomly checked, like those of other airlines. Regulations require that if any serious airworthiness, or flight safety issues are found the aircraft be detained till rectified. It may be noted that such a situation has never arisen with any PIA aircraft, following inspection. The various observations of these inspections were forwarded by UK CAA in June and August 2006. All issues were addressed forthwith and details of corrective actions, which were duly endorsed by Pakistan CAA, were communicated to UK CAA. In accordance with European legislation, this correspondence was also being scrutinized by the European Union.

Accordingly, the Air Safety Committee of European Union corresponded with PIA on the subject of its European operations and fleet plan. The Chairman & CEO, PIA formed a PIA team to develop an "Action Plan" for improvement after detailed study. The CAA Pakistan approved and endorsed the action plan and will monitor its implementation as regulatory authority. This was communicated to the EU and a Pakistani team comprising of CAA & PIA officials met with the EU Air Safety Commission at Brussels on 20th October 2006. The finalized "Action Plan" was presented and approved by the Committee. The PIA management's commitment to mobilize all resources and efforts, to expeditiously achieve higher standards, was conveyed in the letter of the Chairman & CEO, PIA to the head of the EU Committee.

The team apprized the ASC of various measures and the fleet modernization plan that includes the addition of two fuel efficient, long haul B-777 200-LR and 777 ER aircraft. The addition of these planes will bring down the average life of PIA fleet to 11 years in June 2007 vis-a-vis 20 years in June 2006. The younger fleet will help PIA overcome the aging and obsolescence of older aircraft such as 747,737 and A-310. In the drive to uplift the cabin interior and furnishings PIA has immediately amended its schedule, to provide more ground time for aircraft at base; this shall enable enhancements to refurbishment and maintenance of its B-747 and A-310 aircraft. Following refurbishment, these aircraft shall be meticulously checked by PIA and CAA Airworthiness Inspectors and then offered to the SAFA Inspectors for clearance to European destinations.

Some of these defects are due to complacency and aging of the aircraft which is now being addressed through a complete refurbishment program and strict quality control. However it will be worthwhile to mention that no aircraft will be ever allowed to fly unless it is fully certified for airworthiness by PIA engineers and CAA Pakistan Inspectors. The safety and comfort of our passengers will remain PIA top most priority.

PIA has accepted the challenge to meet European standards and all efforts are being directed to that end. PIA would like to assure its customers that the airline has very competent technical manpower that are duly cleared and licensed by CAA Pakistan for the maintenance of its aircraft.

PIA has a fleet strength of 33 aircrafts. The airline is focusing in bringing the average fleet age from 22 years to about 11 years which was presented to the board of directors as PIA's business plan. The Plan envisages induction of nine brand new aircraft by June 2007 which includes three Boeing 777's with two 777-300 ERs and one 777-200ER with a capacity of 400 seats and six ATR's.

With the new Vision, a new culture has been developed, beginning in a new era of PIA to take shape under the guidance and leadership Mr. Tariq Kirmani, Chairman & CEO PIA.