PIA to buy eight aircraft next year
ISLAMABAD, Nov 28: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will add eight Airbus aircraft to its fleet in 2013, with the first aircraft joining the operation in February next year.
PIA Managing Director Junaid Yunus, leading the new management, informed Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf here on Wednesday that five Airbus aircrafts will be added to the PIA fleet during the first half of 2013, while three such aircrafts will be acquired during the second half of the year.
The PIA official informed the prime minister that the narrow-body aircraft will be fuel-efficient and lead to massive savings in fuel cost which presently constitutes 55 per cent of total revenue earned by the airlines.
PIA is actively considering a proposal to outsource non-core operations in order to reduce employee-to-aircraft ratio which is presently 485 employees per aircraft, MD PIA informed the prime minister.
“A business plan of the airline is being firmed up with emphasis on facilitating the passenger so that business can be attracted. The business plan being worked out is being prepared with the objective of attaining a break even by 2013,” he added.
The present share of PIA in the international passenger business generating from Pakistan is 32 per cent while PIA has a share of 71 per cent in the domestic market, he informed.
The national airline has earned operational profit in September and October this year which sets the tone and pace of recovery, he said.
It was also shared that PIA will start flights on Quetta-Kandhar route from December 25 this year. This is the first time that a new destination has been initiated in years, he said.
The prime minister directed the PIA management to consider feasibility of running more flights to Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral.
He expressed the confidence that the new management of PIA will turnaround the airline with a new passenger-friendly face. He asked the management that all grey areas must be addressed and loopholes plugged and economic viability of PIA ensured.