Employees protest of Pakistan International Airlines against the privatization of PIA entered fourth day on Friday. The administrative affairs were disrupted due to the lockdown of offices and sit-in staged outside the head office.
On the other hand, negotiations are underway between government representatives and authorities of Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) Air League in Islamabad. The employees are of the view that no condition will be accepted other than the return of approved bill in assembly regarding the elimination of privatization and making the department public limited.
Government plans to privatize its national carrier by July, following years of crushing losses and mismanagement that have battered the airline’s reputation. PIA’s cumulative losses were 227 billion rupees ($2.2 billion) as of June 2014. The government had to inject 12 to 15 billion rupees annually to keep the airline alive and pay employees.
PIA, one of the world s leading airlines until the 1970s, now suffers from frequent cancellations and delays and has been involved in numerous controversies over the years.
It has also faced problems acquiring security clearances to the European Union for cargo flights. The airline has also traditionally handed out tens of thousands of free tickets each year, contributing to its losses. It has also been reported that PIA has been running into deficit for the last 16 years and yearly deficit is over Rs 20 billion.
It is a proven fact that successful organizations are operating under the professional management. Its time to move ahead and employees per flight ration should be equal to other successful airlines. Political parties should also need to abandon the practice of including workers in national organizations on the grounds of political affiliations.
It’s a dilemma that PIA has been running into deficit from the last 16 years with annual deficit of Rs 20 billion.