PIA – Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Karachi Int’l) is to face the scrutiny of the country’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over poor management, increasing losses, and the sale of one aircraft to a German museum. The Committee’s chair, Khursheed Shah, also questioned PIA’s recruitment of a consultant who is a convicted criminal.
A report submitted to the National Assembly shows that the flag-carrier incurred losses of more than PKR146 billion (USD1.38 billion) over the last four years, reports Pakistan Today. The committee also questioned the controversial sale of an A310-300 with registration AP-BEQ (msn 656) to a German museum for below its market price. Former CEO Bernd Hildenbrand is believed to have sold the airworthy aircraft, including six engines and four auxiliary power units, in exchange for marketing for a planned Karachi Int’l-Leipzig/Halle-New York JFK route. The value of this transaction is believed to be below the scrap price for the aircraft, reports Pro Pakistani.
To regain its aircraft, PIA may be asked to pay a USD200,000 parking fee.
In a bid to stem continued losses, the airline recently decided to cut its US routes, with its 2x weekly New York JFK route to end after October 28. The committee will also prepare a report to determine of the costly Premier Islamabad – London Heathrow service should also be cancelled.
Despite all the negative news, the Prime Minister’s Aviation Advisor, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi believes the airline can still be turned around.
“There is a lot of talent, a lot of potential,” Abbasi said. “If they utilise their potential to the maximum then things can change.