PIA losing trained, experienced crew

KARACHI: The current non conducive environment at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been resulting in the non-retention of its talent as eight pilots have resigned this year while many others are considering this option due to poor policies and unfair scheduling of flights by the management of the airline, says a Press release.
According to details, the most recent of them, First Officer Khurram Baloch resigned on the 17th of this month after working for the airlines for nine years. In his letter to Director Flight Operations (DFO), he said he has started feeling suffocated with the current working environment forcing him to work or face dire consequences.
“It was never like this before. We used to love our work and were passionate about our job but lately our schedulers and operations departments have stopped any kind of cooperation with us – the cockpit crew,” he stated in his resignation letter.
“They are scared that if they cooperate they might lose their jobs,” said Khurrum, adding that the current management has spread such fear among the staff.
Similarly, Captain Adnan Ahmed Malik (an A320 Captain) in his resignation letter to the CEO PIA cited the dysfunctional organizational culture at PIA the main reason for his resignation.
“I soon realized that inflated egos, office politics and administrative incompetence remain even bigger obstacles,” said Adnan, who served the national airline for 14 years, adding that he was treated unfairly by the management due to ambiguous policies and their inconsistent application and enforcement.
He added that lack of employee engagement and satisfaction in an organization rampant with nepotism and cronyism, are evidence of the organization’s inability to attract, develop and retain talent.
Other pilots who resigned include Capt Faisal Younis (after 15 years of service), Captain Bkhtawar Hussain Jaffery (after 19 years of service), Captain Sadia Aziz (after 15 years of service), F/O Alison Oscar (after 7 years of service), F/O Humza Zain (after 9 years of service) and F/O Zuhair Ilyas (after 4 years of service).
Earlier, President Pakistan Air Line Pilots’ Association (Palpa) Rizwan Gondal wrote a letter to the Director General Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) regarding crew fatigue with double sets/augmented crew.
“PIACL has recently introduced some changes in FDTL planning which carries a very high element of fatigue,” stated the letter, adding that this cost cutting exercise is actually compromising on flight safety.
He mentioned that these augmented flights are in violation of the bilateral PALPA-PIAC Working Agreement 2011-2013 and this new flight situation would not allow pilots to avail themselves of the allocated rest time, while rest periods before and after the flights are not defined by the operator and are not reflected on their rosters.
He stated that PIACL scheduling has failed to keep in mind the effects of fatigue, compounding adverse effect on crew health and therefore safety of flight. “The same is reflected in a number of captains’ de-briefs. Majority of our crew are reluctant to accept these flights. However, those on contract are forced to carry out these duties under pressure in fear of losing their contracts,” stated President Palpa.
“As a result of such policies, the backlog is tremendous. Our membership is suffering professional anxiety on account of being deprived of their legitimate expectancies. “Pilot productivity is at its lowest. The management is unwilling to reconsider its current modus operandi which is unworkable,” stated President Palpa.

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