PIA all set to seek resumption of European flights: CEO

By: News Desk      Published: 05:03 PM, 29 Sep, 2020
PIA all set to seek resumption of European flights: CEO

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arshad Malik said on Tuesday that the airlines will seek resumption of its flights to the European Union (EU) in the next three days, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Arshad Malik held an online open court and answered questions asked virtually and said the national airline is all set to ask the European Union for the resumption of its historical European routes after successfully clearing the audit phase. 

Arshad Malik said he was glad that he was addressing the passengers and complainants online. “May 22 plane crash tragedy and coronavirus pandemic became challenges for the PIA. In record time we handed over the bodies of the shuhada of PK-8303 plane crash in Karachi. For the first time PIA increased the insurance of the deceased passengers from Rs5m to Rs10m,” he further said.

Arshad Malik said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia suddenly announced about the return of those workers who have an iqama till September 30. “Issuing so many tickets at once also proved to be a big challenge for the national carrier,” he said.

Arshad Malik said the PIA accepted the challenge and operated 91 flights and transported 26,000 Pakistani nationals back to Saudi Arabia.

“Initially we were asked to make sure that our planes must be half empty following the corona SOPs but thanks to Foreign Office and Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan for playing a pivotal role in this regard and the Saudi authorities graciously allowed filling the 70 to 80 percent seats,” he further said.

The PIA CEO said the national carrier has also acquired 45 more flights to Saudi Arabia.

Arshad Malik further said, “We were tense when the European Union imposed a ban on us as we do not want to end the historical European routes. Our first audit has been completed in which we got 97 percent success. Now in the next phase, we will ask for route clearance.”

He claimed that the PIA new management took bold decisions without having any ‘commercial mindset’.

The CEO said the government has refused to give more grants to the PIA and now the national carrier has to bear its own expenses.

He announced the end of operations of the PIA’s sub-department ‘SpeedEx’ that offers domestic courier service, across the length and breadth of Pakistan.