Oct 15 - 21, 20

Pakistan International Airline (PIA) is heavily indebted to the tune of Rs122 billion causing serious financial constraints which naturally impede the desired growth of the airline which used to be considered as one of the best airline in the past. But remembering the glorious past does not help unless practical efforts are made to bounce back as a world class carrier.

It is unfortunate that excessive politicization, poor management and corruption consequently added to the liabilities of the national carrier. The collective strength of the employees mostly prevailed on personal whims, likings and disliking rather than using that strength for the good of the national carrier.

Apart from financial losses, the real loss to the airline was the loss of image of the airline that consequently had multiple effects on the operational capacity both on the grounds and in the air.

It was interest to note that even a tooth pick offered to the customers cost Rs17 disclosed by Mr. Adil Gilani, Advisor to the Transparency International who attributed to the financial mess because of the rampant corruption within the airline.

The Managing Director of the airline Muhammad Junaid Yunus has however taken a bold step and has entered into an agreement with Transparency International to clean the slate and weed out undesirable activities from the airline. Although this was the third time when the national airline has entered into an agreement with Transparency International on the personal request of MD PIA as the previous agreements inked by the previous managements were confined for public consumption only which were fizzle out with the passage of time. However, this time the new MD of the airline seems determined to work closely with the Transparency International to bring back the national carrier on the track. He has vowed to turn around PIA within a short span of one year.

Talking to media after signing of an agreement with Transparency International with a focus to restore the image of the national carrier as a world class airline by weeding out the corruption and diversify available resources to turn around PIA as profit making corporate entity within the shortest possible time. Adil Gilani Advisor Transparency International and Justice (retired) Ghous Muhammad Trustee TIP were also present on the occasion.

Replying to a question regarding untapped domestic cargo market which is being grabbed by foreign flag airlines in Pakistan MD PIA agreed and disclosed that the airline is actively considering inducting freighters in its fleet to capitalize available cargo business as well.

The on going Pre-Hajj Operation has almost completed successfully with a great amount of punctuality which has earned a lot of market feed back as most of the pilgrims were preferring to travel by the national airline, the addition of extra flights and aircraft is reflective of the improved flow of pre-hajj traffic Junaid said.

When his attention was drawn as to how the Transparency International would help and how much access will be provided to Transparency International in the financial affairs, and other segments of the airline, MD assured that the airline business is an open book and no hitch would be allowed in the working of the Transparency which is aimed at revival of the image of the airline in the eyes of the domestic and international market.

He said that Pakistan International airlines have the exclusive privilege of carrying the National Flag around the Globe to world community. PIA management would like that to which ever destination we reach and to whatever community or culture we are addressing Pakistani nation may be counted amongst patriotic, pure, honest and hard working citizens of the world.

People and organizations world over are known by the company they keep. PIA as a national airline has been under constant mention and has been many a times unnecessarily and unkindly attributed to such speculations, misperceptions and ill-information which has tremendously damaged the image of the airline and because of this misjudged perception, PIA greatly suffered its market share and business leading to losses at the hands of competing airlines even within the territory of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The present management with the blessings of Ministry of Defence, Government of Pakistan decided that PIA should join war against corruption which would also greatly help the airline in cleaning its own rank and file and take the balance sheet of the corporation out of red showing profits adding to the economic growth and prosperity of the Country hence, to begin with we should associate ourselves with the globally acknowledged Civil Society Organization- The Transparency International. It has hundred worldwide chapters with international secretariat in Berlin , Germany .

We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with which we would be associating with the Transparency International for making ourselves transparently accountable to the people of Pakistan and to the international comity of honest nations in all our operational and developmental activities as Transparency International raises awareness of the damaging effects of corruption, and works as partners in Government Business and Civil Society for effectively tackling the menace of corruption.

The ultimate goal of PIA is to satisfy the public interest with partnering with Transparency International, we would be introducing healthy public procurement in PIA, increase our fleet and improve our engineering and spares inventory to the best interest and needs of the people of Pakistan and our customers. We would be introducing fair business practices, save public funds. Good public procurement is a tool of good governance which will contribute to legitimacy, credibility raising the confidence of the local and international customers of PIA.

Through signing of this MOU, PIA would be ensuring an economic impact without burdening the government as corruption unnecessarily increase the cost of purchases , investments, services etc.