PIA mulls layoff, fleet expansion, new destinations to regain its glory

KARACHI: Mulling layoff in the national flag carrier to reduce expenditures amid unprecedented worst period for aviation industry worldwide due to COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has plans to cut down the number of its employees to 7,500.
The sources quoting a report submitted with the Supreme Court in the suo motu case involving the national flag carrier, said that PIA has decided to bring in a mandatory scheme after the voluntary separation scheme.
In the next phase, the airline will evaluate the performance and punctuality of its employees, they said. The number of its employees will be brought down to 7,500 after both these schemes are implemented.
The sources said PIA will expand its fleet to 35 by inducting six new aircraft in 2021. The airline staff will be bifurcated into two categories, namely ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ with the latter to comprise aeronautical engineers, maintenance and repair as well as kitchen staff while the core category will comprise the marketing, human resources, finance, flight services, and procurement departments.
Meanwhile, PIA has decided to begin its flight operation to Saudi Arabia’s Abha city to facilitate Pakistanis residing there. According to sources, the national airline intends to operate two weekly flights to the Saudi Arabian city from Islamabad and Lahore.
The PIA has already approached the kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) for permission to operate flights to Abha.- TLTP

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