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Chairman address to the members of the Cabin Crew of PIA

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In continuation of his series of periodical communication meetings with the employees of different departments of the corporation, the Chairman & CEO, PIA, Mr. Tariq Kirmani addressed members of the Cabin Crew of PIA, for the fourth time. The Cabin Crew who gathered to listen to him were from all the major cities of the country who are posted there, besides Karachi. It was, as always an interactive session with the Cabin Crew in which the Chairman & CEO, briefed them about the airline and answered their queries and the issues that concern them.

The Chairman talked to them about the high fuel prices and how it had affected the economics of the airline in the last two years. He told the assembled gathering that fuel costs in the last two years had increased by 100%, from Rs.18 Billion in 2004 to Rs. 36 Billion in 2006 or, from 31% of total PIA revenues in 2004, to 48% in 2006. The airline industry average of the cost of fuel as a percentage of revenues was merely 27%.

He said that hopefully, 2007 will be a turnaround year. However, to achieve that required change in every area and costs money. We have to change the people’s perception about the organization. Criticism for the sake of criticism was no good and served no ones purpose. We require new blood to run this organization and for this the first preference is from within the organization and then from outside, he said. There are some tough decisions to be made but one thing is for sure that even if PIA is a Public Sector Organization it won’t function as such. He asked them to be the best ambassadors of the airline and the company and protect its image with the customer.

He talked about the new appraisal system based on performance and the raise in salaries accordingly last year from 4% to 14%. “If you do your job” he said “you do not have to fear, you are secure.” However, he said, one must realize that we have 410 persons per aircraft whereas in Europe and America the average comes to merely 150 persons per aircraft.

The Cabin Crew mentioned the shortage of Crew on flights to which he said that 500 more Cabin Crew are being hired and will be functional within a few months and the shortage will be over. The current pressure was because of Hajj Flights and will soon be over, as 250 Cabin Crew will be released. To a question about IFE’s he said that he agreed that they were not up to standard. However, he said, that a Cross Functional Team, CFT, was looking into the matter and even though the progress was not satisfactory he will look into the matter personally and expedite its progress.

Finally, he agreed with a suggestion that fortnightly meetings among members of the operational departments should be arranged and held regularly so that the problems and issues are better understood at the operational level and are resolved for the benefit of all.