Process started for restructuring of PIA: Senate body told

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ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP): Advisor to the Prime Minister on
Aviation Division Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi on Thursday while
conceding lack of discipline and accountability in Pakistan
International Airlines (PIA) in the past said that process had already
been started for complete restructuring of the national flag
carrier.
The Senate Special Committee on the performance of PIA met
here with Mushahid Ullah Khan in chair and reviewed progress and
implementation status of the Sub-Committee, sale of PIA Airbus to a
German Firm in violation of PPRA rules, incident of sleeping pilot
during flight and presence of Chinese lady passenger in the cockpit.
Mehtab Abbasi said that there were three options for PIA,
either let the airline operate as it is, or declare it bankrupt and
lay off its all staff or its complete restructuring.
The government opted the third option and coercive measures
were being taken to revive the national flag carrier. However, he
said that restructuring was not an easy task.
Earlier responding to implementation status of the report of
the sub-committee, the Advisor said the recommendations were very
important and PIA was just a business company.
He requested the committee that the implementation should not
be made binding otherwise it would be difficult to run the
organization smoothly.
Chairman of the Committee, Mushahid Ullah Khan said the
government owned 91 per cent share of PIA besides constituting and
appointing the CEO.
He said under the constitution, the recommendations of the
committee were binding upon PIA and the aviation division to
implement it.
The committee was apprised that PIA plane was chartered to a UK
based firm for two weeks rather than an Israeli firm. The then
German CEO had authorized the deal.
Mehtab Abbasi said it was a business deal but it was a bad
one. However, he said Air France label was used while shooting the
film.
He said inquiry was conducted into the matter besides
referring it to the Federal Investigation Agency.
He said the German CEO had already been suspended while show
cause notice to another serving air force senior official was served
through Ministry of Defence.
Regarding sleeping of the pilot, the committee was informed that
Captain Amir Hashmi had been grounded immediately.
The committee expressed dismay over slow pace of inquiry into
the matter.
About Chinese lady passenger in the cockpit, the committee was
apprised that Pilot Shahzed Aziz had also been grounded, besides
transferring him to Karachi.
Responding to a query, the committee was apprised that the
pilot was also facing an active case of fake degree against him,
but he had obtained stay order from the Sindh High Court.
Mehtab Abbasi said standard operating procedures were
being immediately amended to stop recurrence of such incidents. He
also ordered an immediate suspension of the pilot.
Farhatullah Babar said the House had already adopted the
report of the sub-committee and now implementation of the
recommendations were binding upon the management.
He said the management had to present compliance report to the
committee otherwise it would be tantamount to undermine the
Parliament.
The advisor said due process was being adopted in all such
cases so the cases remained strong. The court had granted 240 stay
orders in such cases, he added.
The committee meeting was attended by Syed Muzaffar Hussain
Shah, Chaudhary Tanvir, Sherry Rehman, Farhatullah Babar, Taj
Muhammad Afridi and Kamil Ali Agha.