Lahore: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik has said that the financial restructuring of the national flag carrier is well on its way and things would be finalized soon.
We do have few option to settling the mounting debt issue of PIA, Malik said during his visit to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Thursday.
“One of the options is to issue investment bonds; the other is debt-equity swap. The third option we have is that government can take some of PIA assets against the loans to clear our balance sheet, which by the way is already guaranteed by the government, ”, he said adding “a final meeting is expected to be held within ten days and it is expected that this issue will be settled”.
The CEO said that the efforts for improvement have started yielding results in the PIA despite the COVID 19 and other challenges. He said that PIA’s revenue has increased and showed gross profit in the months of September and October.
He said that open sky policy has caused huge loss to PIA. He said that financial restructuring of PIA is well on the way and would be finalized soon.
The Air Marshal further said that cargo space utilization of the airline has been increased and Boeing 777 aircraft’s can be used for cargo transportation.
Malik said the PIA is focusing the profitable routes based on demand prospects and commercial viability. He went on to say that unlike the past, all business decisions were now made collectively and political intervention has been ended.
The PIA chief said that no planning or up-gradation was made in the past for in-flight entertainment and passengers’ comfort on board the aircraft. He said that a system is being planned to be upgraded for the convenience of passengers on long haul flights.
He said that merit had been implemented in PIA and all promotions and foreign postings had been done purely on merit without any outside influence. He said that golden shake policy has been introduced for 3000 employees.
Talking about expanding international routes Malik said that PIA is almost there and for New York and Chicago route, but due to Covid-19 and licensing issue they are facing some delay.
He further said that the company is also in talks with China, seeking permission for some other major cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou. Currently Chinese authorities are allowing PIA to fly to Beijing only.
Talking about fake license issue, the CEO said that when these matters become talk of the town, Civil Aviation Authority conducts an inquiry and they get to know that there were some malpractices. “This is the duty of regulator to fix such issue about we as an operator cannot fix such issues however we do highlight such matters”, Malik said.