Dispute between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and union of its pilots Pakistan Airlines Pilot Association (PALPA) has caused in cancellation or delayed number of flights.
It has been witnessed quite often PALPA and PIA indulge in some sort of dispute. PIA’s executives in their addresses to the media are portraying a noble image of themselves where they are working overtime to ensure that their customers are not inconvenienced and are playing on the importance of bringing the Hajjis home. Meanwhile, the pilots and their union seek to blackmail PIA in order to fulfill their demands of high wages and improved perks.
The tussle between PALPA and PIA has been brewing for some time and has everything to do with gross mismanagement and shortsightedness of the PIA management. PIA repeatedly forced its pilots to violate the terms of their flight duty time limitation and therefore compromise on the safety of hundreds of lives goes unreported. PALPA has announced non-cooperation with the management of PIA until PIA formally implements the Working Agreement 2013-15 between PALPA and PIA, which would prohibit misallocation of employees. To deal with the situation PIA hired pilots on a temporary contract basis, from this act of PIA, permanent pilots felt their job security at risk.
PIA has therefore no qualms about sending overworked, stressed, sleep-deprived pilots, who also happen to be fearful for their jobs, flying into the air with hundreds of passengers onboard.
Ongoing dispute is not only damaging reputation of Pakistan’s national airline but also causing great inconvenience for the passengers. Private airlines taking the advantage by the situation has increased charges manifold. It’s a busy time as post Hajj season is going on and this issue could cause more worries for Hajjis returning to Pakistan after performing Hajj.
PIA should not compromise on the security of passengers and should follow the rules if it wants to get out of this mess.