PIA Pilots threaten enmass resignations over administration latest steps

PIA Pilots threaten enmass resignations over administration latest steps

KARACHI – Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has reduced staff by nearly 1,000 by laying off surplus employees besides other measures to slash the operational cost of the enterprise.

According to a statement by Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA), eight pilots have resigned this year while others are considering the same option owing to poor policies and unfair scheduling of flights by the management of the airline.

The relived pilots have said that due to the stress at work, they had to perform their duties under pressure or endure serious consequences.

In a letter to the Director-General Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), PALPA President Rizwan Gondal cited double sets/augmented crew as the reason behind the pilots’ resignation.

“PIACL has recently introduced some changes in FDTL planning which carries a very high element of fatigue,” the letter stated and warned that the cost-cutting exercise is actually compromising flight safety.

Gondal further mentioned that these augmented flights were in violation of the bilateral PALPA-PIAC Working Agreement 2011-2013 and this new flight situation would not permit pilots to avail 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.

The official said PIACL schedule has failed to keep in mind the effects of fatigue, compounding adverse effect on crew health and therefore safety of the flight.

“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,” Gondal stated.

The warning comes days after Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the purchase of additional planes for Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) existing fleet.

According to Air Marshal Malik, overall 12 new planes will be added to PIA’s fleet by 2023. In the initial stage, four planes will be added to the fleet by 2020.