Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plans to cut unprofitable routes, retire part of its fleet, and trim its inefficient workforce by 50%. All of this in a bid to return to profitability by 2023.
PIA Plans To Trim Workforce By 50%
Ryanair has 39 employees per aircraft. Singapore Airlines has 141 employees per aircraft. Air France-KLM has 150. But Pakistan International Airlines? 467 employees per aircraft!
No, that is not a typo. To put it kindly, Pakistan International Airlines is inefficient. It loses money every year and is bitterly seen by many Pakistanis as a corrupt arm of the state, creating a path for well-connected people to enjoy a middle class life through nepotism, bribery, and other ethically-suspect actions.
Past attempts at reform were met by both political opposition and employee protests. A few years ago, PIA attempted to re-invent itself as a luxury carrier and that turned out to be a spectacular flop.
This time, however, there are no plans to compete with the Gulf carriers. Ishrat Hussain, an advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan, told Bloomberg:
“We have no grandiose plans to become like Emirates or Etihad or Qatar.”
That’s wise considering PIA does not have the scale in fleet or route network to justify such offerings. Instead, PIA will be “a very lean and efficient organization,” added Khan.
As we’ve covered on Live and Let’s Fly, COVID-19 has not been PIA’s only concern. The carrier has battled charges of fake pilot licenses and other corruption, which led the United States and Europe to blacklist the carrier.
In an effort to return to profitability, PIA will:
- Trim its workforce by 50%, in part by outsourcing departments including catering and engineering
- Keep its fleet to “under 30 aircraft”
- The current fleet contains 12 Boeing 777s, 11 Airbus A320s, and 3 ATR-42 turboprops
- End service to Tokyo (NRT) and Manila (MNL)
- Sell its (now closed) Roosevelt Hotel property in New York City
That’s the plan – whether it can actually remove employees is a whole different matter.
Pakistan International Airlines has recognized that its workforce is far too bloated and regulating in unsustainable annual losses. But will PIA have the will to actually reduce its workforce? Only time will tell and if the past is any indicator of the future, it will be an uphill battle.
> Read More on PIA:
- Pakistan International Airlines 777 Business Class Manchester To New York
- Pakistan International Airlines A320 Crashes, Killing 97 Onboard
- Where The Two Survivors Were Sitting When PIA Airbus A320 Crashed
- Another A320 Scare On Pakistan International Airlines
- Report: Careless Pilots Blamed For PIA A320 Crash
- It’s Time To Blacklist Pakistan International Airlines…
- Exclusive: A “Fake” Pilot From Pakistan International Airlines Speaks Out
- European Union Bans Pakistan International Airlines – Is Canada Next?
- United States Bans Pakistan International Airlines
- How Pakistan International Airlines Plans To Skirt Blacklist
- Pakistani Pilot Probe Spreads To United Arab Emirates
- Another Scandal Rocks Pakistan International Airlines