This is reference to a letter on the subject of a recent substantial salary hike to loss making PIA, owned by poor taxpayers of this unfortunate land, who are denied health, education and even clean drinking water. As it is, PIA is over staffed, where recruitments have seldom been on merit or utilization, but tailored to suit requirements of incompetent children of its senior executives, unions, the political or bureaucratic elite and the powerful mafia dominated by dual nationals within PIA. It is just another election ploy of this government, with barely a month left in tenure, under whose tenure PIA nose dived financially and operationally. We are talking about a massive salary raise for senior pilots of B777 whose salary was already in the range of several hundred thousand rupees.

Salary raise should be based on the financial health of an organization, and in the case of PIA its losses are already above Rs141 billion, while aircraft and crew utilization are at an all time low, with half the fleet grounded, for lack of spare parts or fund shortages. Let PIA be right-sized and at least break even, before any salary readjustment is to be considered. Nobody in Pakistan gets salary comparable to those existing in international markets such as Europe or America, where salaries of doctors, engineers, economists, lawyers are far higher than those paid to pilots and unfortunately because of myopic priorities of this country the reverse is true in Pakistan. This cadre was given a huge benefit by Tariq Kirmani when he raised their ‘Guaranteed Flying Allowance’ from 50 hours to 70 hours per month, although the average utilization per pilot per month is below 39 hours only. Let sanity prevail in this country.

RAHAT SIDDIQI,

Karachi, February 18.