ISLAMABAD: Government is determined to upgrade technology in the flagship carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to improve the airline’s services, a senior official said on Tuesday.
“Advancement in technology is a dire need of the time, and we are committed to extend the technology and to furnish Pakistan International Airlines with the latest equipment to serve our customers at large,” said Prime Minister’s Adviser on Aviation Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi while talking to Regional Vice President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for Asia Pacific Conrad Clifford.
Clifford was on a visit to the Aviation Division where he met the premier’s aviation adviser.
The two discussed different avenues for mutual cooperation in the field of aviation including cargo improvement, human resource development, fuel conservation, fleet optimisation and safety measures in particular.
Khan apprised Clifford about the government’s efforts for the betterment of the aviation industry, specifically the reforms to uplift the standards of the national carrier. He emphasised on frequent interactions and close cooperation with IATA for the betterment of PIA.
The IATA official appreciated the reforms taken by the government and termed them “an unavoidable step”.
“PIA is recuperating its position and we hope that it will be sustaining its status with dignity,” he said in a statement.
The meeting identified different gaps in the technology sector and rooms for improvements in PIA and decided to extend support in different sectors in general and technology, in particular, to help the airline meet international standards.
The struggling state-owned PIA was incurring around Rs3.1 billion per month in losses as its Gulf-based rivals such as Etihad and Emirates are eating into its market share, former chief executive of the airline Bernd Hildenbrand told Reuters in an interview early this year.
Hildenbrand, in a briefing to a Senate committee, also blamed the country’s open skies policy for growing market shares of international airlines as PIA was facing difficulties to face competition with its aging fleet.
Earlier, the government planned to privatise the struggling airline but put the plan on the back burner following opposition from employees.
Originally published in