LAHORE - At a time when the government is striving hard to pull the national flag carrier out of losses, the office bearers of Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association have demanded a special allowance, a guaranteed 105 flying hours and outstation allowances for themselves amounting to annual amount of Rs 20 million, document available with The Nation revealed.

It merits mentioning here that former management of pilots’ community had kept withdrawn this clause for more than 3 years to reduce the financial load and losses of the airline and had reduced the flying allowance of regular pilots from 70 to 50 hours guaranteed flying allowance.

The allowance is being given to management pilots who are required to be in offices for certain jobs helping the management and are subject to less flying than regular pilots. On the contrary the incumbent PALPA office bearers are flying full hours as per their rosters and mostly on international routes.

A technically worded letter no PALPA/G/337/176 of August 25, 2014, signed by Joint Secretary PALPA First Officer Rifaat Hussain, has been sent to the management demanding payments only as per certain clauses i.e. 2.17- 1&2 of PALPA-PIA working agreement for President Capt Amir Hashmi, Vice President Capt Sadiq Rehman, General Secretary Capt Sohail Ahmed and Treasurer Capt Farrukkh Mirza only. Sources said a letter had been written by Anwar Nadeem, Deputy General Manager HR & Flight Operations, on 5th September HR/FO/PALPA/2014, asking Finance Manager Flight Operations for the arrangement of payment to executive PALPA pilots on account of guaranteed flying hours and allowances.

The letter also mentioned the reference of joint secretary Palpa’s letter in this regard saying as per clause 2.17 of PIA/PALPA agreement principal office bearers of Palpa are entitled for 105 guaranteed flying hours allowance and international outstation allowance of 10-days out per month. Sources said the annual impact of implementation of this allowance will be around Rs. 20 million. Sources said the letter also mentioned the executives names including Capt Amir Hashmi (President Palpa), Capt Sadiq Rehman (Vice President), Capt Sohail Ahmed (General Secretary) and Capt Farrukh Mirza (Treasurer).

Earlier, President PALPA Captain Hashmi told the media in a statement that Palpa continued to offer their support to the airline. The association plans to offer the management to reduce their principal office bearers’ and management pilots’ allowances by 25 percent. Instead the all powerful association which threatens to stop flying at a drop of the hat has demanded the full 105 hours allowance, forgetting completely about reduction of 25 percent. It is worth mentioning here that last year the then PALPA management got the allowance after a period of more than 3 years, while incumbent President who was only a member of the association had objected to the allowance and asked the PIA management to withdraw it with immediate effects while now they have demanded the same with arrears for themselves.