PIA foreign station managers fear losing business
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Country managers of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which have been posted at foreign stations, have expressed their dismay over frequent flight cancellations and have warned that airlines business abroad would be affected.
PIA’s station managers in different countries, in their communications with the headquarters, have protested against flight cancellations and delays while predicting loss of business, passengers’ reaction against PIA and local management, punitive actions and fines by airport authorities which are not happy with PIA due to its lethargy, ill-planning and mismanagement.
In the last two months PIA flights were canceled and delayed innumerable times which had annoyed passengers and local airport authorities as well. Station managers have requested the management not to cancel flights anymore else PIA would get bad name in their respective markets and also lose business because in the future public would not trust PIA.
Passengers in Dhaka, Katmandu, Muscat, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Delhi, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and in other European and Middle Eastern countries have already suffered a lot due to flight cancellation, mismanagement, ill-planning and non-availability of aircrafts.
However, Tahir Khalique, PIA’s media advisor, said that there was no question of losing business as the airline has already achieved the revenue target. He said that PIA passengers were committed to the national flag carrier. Though there were some issues lately, but the same had been overcome and there were no delayed or canceled flight in the last 72 hours. However, he did not deny or confirm communications from PIA’s country managers abroad.
According to details, PIA country managers also pointed out that due to cancellation of flights it is also getting extremely difficult for the passengers whose visas or re-entry visas expire and sponsors at the destination also do not take the trouble of attending passengers again and again on different dates.
This result in cancellation of visas and even deportation, they added. As per communications of the foreign stations the delay, cancellation and frequent change of aircraft puts a lot of pressure for adjustments and information to passengers who at time are coming from far flung areas.
Travel agents in these foreign stations are also very much annoyed and are diverting potential traffic to PIA’s competitors. Besides, as per one of the country managers abroad, PIA had to provide hotel accommodation and food until the next connection for the already shifted passengers who were accommodated on other flights.
Sources also said that on December 1st, 2011 around 31 flights were cancelled in a day. PIA had to bear the burden of extra expenses due to hotel arrangements for passengers that could have been avoided by implementing effective planning and scheduling.
Sources said earlier Saudi civil aviation authorities imposed a fine of Saudi riyal 10,000 on the PIA for delay in operating flights between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. PIA’s reply on the issue was rejected by Saudi authorities as PIA failed to convince Saudi authorities that the delay occurred due to technical failures.Source: The News