The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Air Marshal Arshad Mehmood Malik on Tuesday pledged to prepare a five year plan for the airline in the next three months which will guarantee fortunes instead of losses. The airline has been incurring losses in the successive years causing a loss of Rs60 billion. This puts a lot of pressure on the taxpayers, who are now bearing the impact of the corrupt practices of the officials appointed. The change in administration last year confirmed the scale at which mismanagement was taking place and the only reason why privatisation is not a viable option is because of the lobbying of groups which are relying on the government’s money.

PIA in the last couple of months has taken several short term measures to overcome immediate losses. Several routes from Pakistan were still active despite incurring losses of Rs500 million each month. This is the kind of amount which certainly has an impact on the economy and the failure of authorities to recognise such practices only perpetuated the problem. These routes have now been closed and several new routes have been introduced which will guarantee profit for the airlines.

At this point, financial restructuring is key to the revenue generation scheme of the airline. PIA has provided employment to 18,000 people. All this staff needs to be trained and reorganised in a manner which ensures great output and the improvement in their services. The Safety Investigation Board (SIB) of Pakistan blamed the maintenance department of PIA for the crash of PK-661 in Havelian. Such mishaps need to be avoided. Fairly recently, Emirates also refused to use PIA air bridges due to safety hazards. These glitches will only result in losses for the airline. If it is not able to revive itself in the next five years, it should no longer remain a burden on the taxpayers because several national airlines around the world have been privatised to avoid this particular situation.