PIA CEO to look into overcharging complaints from stranded Pakistanis
Air Marshal Arshad Malik, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), said at a meeting with Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan that he would look into reports about overcharging by the national flag carrier.
The meeting between Malik and Khan was held in Islamabad on Monday to review the performance of PIA's special operations designed to bring back stranded Pakistanis and take foreigners to their home countries. Various arrangements, including safety measures, disinfection of the planes in and outside Pakistan, adherence to various safety protocols and safety of crew, were deliberated upon at the meeting.
During the meeting, the minister inquired about the fare being charged by the PIA from passengers on its special flights. It was explained that as most of the flights were ferry flights or were flown with limited number of passengers due to the limit set by the Government of Pakistan, passengers were being charged a slightly higher amount than the usual fare to make such flights economically viable. It was decided at the meeting that based on feedback from passengers the PIA CEO would look into the assertion of overcharging based on high operating costs associated with these flights.
The PIA CEO showed concern at the recent spate of complaints and ordered revision of fare on realistic and tenable terms to benefit the expatriate Pakistani community in this time of need. He issued clear-cut instruction to the PIA staff that the fare charged should only be geared towards meeting the costs of operations. He told the commercial department to punish those responsible, especially travel agents/partners who overcharged passengers and brought bad name to PIA, with severest penalties set forth by regulations.
The PIA CEO also directed the leadership team of the national airline to go extra mile in facilitating the stranded Pakistanis and personally supervise interaction of the customers with the PIA. At the same time, he encouraged his ground and air teams to rise to the occasion and do the national service, which has been a traditional hallmark of the PIA. He also reiterated that PIA’s crew were national heroes and they were working hard to bring comfort to the passengers on the ground and in the air despite a real risk to their own lives and their families.