ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (APP):Minister Incharge of the Aviation Division, Muhammadmian Soomro on Tuesday informed the Senate that the process of restructuring of PIA has been initiated and there are several plans to improve the standard of the airline with additional facilities.

Replying to a question in the Senate, the minister said that effective security measures have been adopted to stop suspicious activities and to control smuggling at airports.

In a written reply, he said that PIA had been operating their flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar during Summer Schedule 2017. However, PIA had abandoned their operations from Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar during winter Schedule 2017-18 and is operating from Karachi only.

He said operating international flights between two cities under bilateral ASA is decided by operating designated airlines on commercial and other considerations. He said that Airline keep reviewing their operating routes in accordance with market conditions and take decisions on closure of existing routes and opening of new routes on its viability.

He said that making Karachi as a hub for Kuala Lumpur operations and bringing passengers from other cities may have been viable for PIA, than operating separate flight for Peshawar and other cities of Pakistan.
He said that Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would always welcome if PIA resume Kuala Lumpur-Peshawar city pair operation at the recommended slots of the airport management of Bacha Khan International Airport, Peshawar.

The minister said that no bailout package has been given by the government, rather additional guarantees of Rs 17.022 billion have been approved by the government and PIA will borrow from banks against additional guarantees.
He said that PIA is in process of finalizing its Strategic Business Plan 2019-22 which will be submitted to the Federal Government in March or April, 2019.

He added the plan included measures to improve upon its performance with several profitable new routes like Silakot-Sharjah, Lahore Muscat, Islamabad-Doha and Lahore-Bangkok-Kualalampur have been added as these routes are going very strong and are economically viable.

He added more new routes have been planned which will commence from
January and February 2019. These include Sialkot-Paris-Barcelona, Peshawar-Sharjah, Peshawar-Al- Ain and Multan-Sharjah.
He said that there is a plan for increasing frequencies and capacity on profitable routes like Jeddah and Madinah Munawwarah.

He said that there is a plan for closure of loss making routes like New York, Salalah (Oman), Kuwait, Mumbai and Tokyo besides replacing the twenty-year old and highly expensive software system with new one (HITIT) which is very cost effective, cheaper and more efficient.

He said that there is also plan for terminating around 200 extra and ghost employees. He said that an effective austerity and cost saving drive was initiated which included curtailment of unnecessary visits by officials both foreign and domestic.

He said that instructions have been issued to make use of technological assistance like video calls, conference calls etc besides retrieving company vehicles and eliminating fuelallocations accordingly.