CEO PIA Wins the Hearts of the People of Pakistan
With 41% increase in revenues, 5 points increase in seat factor and over 90% reliability of schedule, PIA is all set to take a more aggressive course.
“This is a national organization and serving PIA is serving Pakistan”, CEO PIA, Air Marshal Arshad Malik’s interview released on the official PIA social media handles won the hearts of the people of Pakistan. As he shared the achievements, challenges and future plans for the national airline, we finally see that PIA has shifted gears towards higher skies.
During the candid interview the CEO spoke from the heart and with complete transparency. He shared that improvements in PIA are visible in just one year, but there are still challenges to overcome and new heights to achieve.
He called out to the people of Pakistan and said that our flag will only be able to fly higher, if everyone made a conscious effort to fly the national carrier and contributed to the progress of the airline and the country. “Make us proud and we will look after you and together we will achieve greater heights not only for PIA, but for our pure land Pakistan.”
Highlighting the airline’s one-year performance, he said that PIA’s revenue during the past six months had increased by 41 percent, seat factor was now between 80 to 84 percent, which is considered a good performance indicator in the Aviation Industry. The airline’s cargo space utilization increased from 50 percent to almost 80 percent which has contributed towards greater revenues. PIA also enhanced its engineering capabilities and now aircraft maintenance are performed at Lahore and Islamabad, which was previously only available at Karachi. This allows for better positioning of aircrafts and maintenance which leads to cost savings. PIA this year renewed its IOSA certification and is now in the process of attaining EASA certification.
He proudly shared that two aircrafts that were grounded since long, were made serviceable this year and now all Boeing 777s and A320 aircraft in PIA fleet were operational and contributing towards revenue generation. This was done entirely by PIA engineers and at much lower costs than in previous years. Two narrow body aircraft will also be inducted in PIA fleet by the end of this year. A proper aircraft spares inventory planning program, which was lacking before, has also been implemented in PIA which has reduced the aircraft down time and better serviceability of aircraft.
He told the audience that the ground service equipment which plays an important role for any airline was neglected in the past. The ground service equipment that was left as scrape has been overhauled utilizing the airline’s own resources, thus saving millions in outsourcing.
PIA’s property assets in Pakistan and abroad were neglected and abandoned in the past, this year these properties were identified in USA, Amsterdam, Iran, Tashkent and other countries and plans were underway for their profitable utilization.
PIA has introduced new routes and more destinations will be added to its network based on demand prospects and commercial viability. CEO PIA said that plans are underway for flights for USA and preferably for operating direct flights to New York. Preliminary meetings have been held in this regard.
He said that no planning or up-gradation was made in the past for inflight entertainment and passengers’ comfort on board the aircraft. This year, the in-flight system is being upgraded for the convenience of passengers on long haul flights.
Co- branding initiatives have also been taken to promote tourism in Pakistan and for providing better services to the passengers.
He accepted that there were many more improvements that were needed, but many positive changes were already in place to ensure a comfortable and convenient flying experience for the passengers. He shared that PIA was home to world renowned talent, but due to external influences and weak management, the organization and its people were suffering. His training and experience of the Pakistan Air Force provided the required planning, discipline, management and team building to immediately address the management needs of the airline. Along with his senior management team, he was quickly able to put in place mechanisms that now had PIA working as a well-oiled machine. Unlike in the past, all business decisions are now made collectively.
He said that merit has been implemented in PIA and all promotions and foreign posting have been done purely on merit without any outside influence. He thanked the Government for their full support and confidence in the present management. Referring to overstaffing in PIA, he said that majority of the airline operations are from Islamabad and adjoining cities while most of the Human Resource was based at Karachi, the resources have thus been repositioned according to the size of operation and number of flights number of fights that are operating from Islamabad.
The passion and commitment of Air Marshal Arshad Malik to serve the national flag is contagious. Indeed, PIA will only prosper and progress if all of us give our patronage to our own airline. Many improvements are still underway, but our love and duty towards our country and its assets are bigger. Let us also make an effort and play our role and choose our national airline for our travel. Let us also contribute towards improving Pakistan.