ISLAMABAD  -  The Pakistan International Airline is all set for a structural revamping, National Assembly was told on Wednesday.

Minister for Aviation Division Muhammad Mian Soomro in his reply said that PIA is in process of finalising its Strategic Business Plan 2019-22 which will be submitted to the Federal Government by coming March.

Under the new plan, many strong and economically viable routes including Sialkot-Sharjah, Lahore-Muscat, Islamabad-Doha and Lahore-Bangkok-Kualalampur have been added new routes between Sialkot-Paris-Barcelona, Peshawar-Sharjah, Peshawar-Al- Ain and Multan-Sharjah has also been planned which will commence by next month.

Loss making routes like New York, Salalah (Oman), Kuwait, Mumbai and Tokyo would be closed. The ghost employees around 200 would be terminated.

Frequencies and capacity on profitable routes like Jeddah and Madinah has also been planned to increase.

Under austerity and cost saving drive, unnecessary visits of officials would be curtailed. All kinds of discounts, rebates and free tickets would be abolished and company vehicles would be retrieved and fuel allocation would be eliminated.

Overtime allowances in all cadres would be ban and VIP protocols would be abolished. Public relation and brand activities would be reduced by cutting down on advertisements.

The business activities and discipline at air port hotels, which are going in losses and now revenues are improving, would be streamlined. Effective monitoring and vigilance of all areas would be made to eliminate pilferage and leakages.

Food quality would be improved and refined menu in the light of recommendations and suggestions received from passengers would be adopted.

Executive economy class on European and Gulf sectors would be introduced.

Fares would be rationalised according to market demand thus helping in increase of seat factor.

Special emphasis on cargo business with monitoring of performance, rationalization of cargo fares and more effective liaison with all stakeholders, likewise, attractive fares and capacity will enhance for Umrah and Ziarats business. Presently PIA leased fleet includes 20 aircraft acquired on Dry Lease.

INP adds: The management of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) decided on Wednesday to shun playing soft music during flights and instead Qaseeda Burda Shareef (an ode of praise for the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will be played.

The decision was taken under directives of the chief operating officer of PIA, Air Marshal Arshad Malik. Previously, soft music used to be played in PIA flights, but after the fresh directives, music will be replaced by Qaseeda Burda Shareef.

A recitation for a safe journey (dua-e-safar) is also recited before a flight takes off. It is learnt that Qaseeda Burda Shareef is being played in all Boeing-777 jets initially.

Couple of days ago, PIA Chairman and CEO, Malik had said that some loss-making routes had been closed. Addressing a press conference, Malik said that a corruption mafia was active in the PIA and the airlines was bearing huge losses in its operations on a number of loss-making routes.

“We also came to know about shortage of the professionals in the organization,” he said.

The complaints about misbehavior with passengers was a routine. There were reports about removal of engines from the aircraft and disappearance of parts, he said.

There was an extreme lack of interest to run the airlines. Even there were equipment which expired in a packed condition, CEO Malik said.

The PIA was making 300 to 500 million rupees losses at various routes. So a number of loss-making routes had been curtailed to minimise the losses, said PIA CEO.