LAHORE - PIA increased its domestic and international markets share by 09 percent and 04 percent respectively during last month of March as compared to corresponding period last year, said spokesman for the airline on Friday.

He said that the domestic market share of PIA increased from 47% to 58% during March this year while international market share of the airline increased from 23% to 27%.

Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was also briefed in a meeting last month on this development. The meeting was informed that average daily departures increased from 94 flights in March, 2015 to 121 flights in March, 2016. 71 Umrah extra sections mounted during March, 2016 against 27 extra sections of same period last year. PIA transported 508, 453 passengers during the month of March, 2016 against 414,392 passengers during the same period last year registering a growth of 23%. The participants of the meeting briefed that new lean organization structure has been approved by the PIA Board of Directors. Central Reservation Control (CRC) has been shifted from Karachi to Islamabad with fully automated systems to curb inventory abuse, spokesman added.

The Prime Minister was also briefed on the affairs of the Premier Airlines particularly proposed steps related to human resource activity. The Prime Minister directed to ensure best cabin crew and catering services for the Premier Airways in order to achieve high service standards. The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Secretary Aviation Irfan Elahi, and other senior officials of the government.

On the other hand, some senior PIA officers have differed with the statistics and performance of the airline saying that revenue and share percentage might be much more than that was showed in the data. They believed that fuel prices have come down up to very notable level from $ 80 per barrel in 2015 to $35 per barrel in 2016. But management did not mention the saving made in head of fuel lower prices.

An officer seeking anonymity said that though there was a meager betterment in affairs of airline but there was dire need to take unpopular decisions to stop pilferage in every department of airline. He was of the view that transfers/postings should be made purely on merit and political interference should be checked strictly to boost the moral of PIA staff.