Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been constantly struggling for the past few years following some of the mishaps and severe management as well as technical issues. The company’s misfortunes escalated further as fear spread among people, particularly because of some tragic accidents in the past. Losses grew exponentially in the fiscal year 2021, especially due to the pandemic and scandals that followed fake pilot licenses. Due to the scandals, the pilots of PIA were unfit to travel to the USA or UK. Just when everything seems to be in the dark, there is a ray of hope for PIA. There is a fair chance that PIA might return to its former glory.
The airline services are redoing their business model as well as bringing refinement to their operations. The first indication of this refinement was evident when back on 11 January 2022, PIA announced its plans to cut its workforce. The idea behind this plan was to make the operations run smoothly and efficiently. PIA CEO, Arshad Malik expressed hope for PIA’s future, especially on the arrival of new aircraft to the PIA fleet in 2022. It would help PIA bring down its employee per aircraft ratio to the ideal numbers.
Things might become better for PIA, as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has gotten involved. Following the crisis that PIA was passing through, the government hired international consultants to save the airlines.
IATA has drafted a new business plan to take PIA out of the financial crisis and make the airlines profitable again. The business plan is set for the years 2022-2026. The strategy of the plan, if implemented, will grow the revenues from 1.196$ billion to 2.183$ billion.
The business proposal was commissioned by the Ministry of Finance last year. It was inspired by the study given by Dr. Ishrat Hussain, the former special counselor to the PM on public enterprise reforms. Dr. Ishrat’s study gave the perfect restructuring strategy that PIA can use to become more profitable in the future. Implementing this new strategy, PIA would increase the number of planes in its air fleet from 29 to 49. The number of passengers will consequently increase from 5.2 million to 9 billion.
This business strategy comes as a much-needed breath of fresh air that PIA needed in the wake of the looming crisis. It is quite possible that with proper execution of the plan, the glory of the once-famous airlines can be restored.