Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pakistan International Airlines aircraft grounded

This is apropos reports on grounding of nine PIA aircrafts for lack of spares. The award of exclusive procurement of technical spares to Transworld Aviation FZE, based in Dubai may prove to be the undoing of PIA. Unfortunately, the crisis that afflicts PIA is not lack of passengers nor skilled human resources, but it’s mismanagement and massive pilferage by a corrupt and incompetent management dominated by unqualified cronies, all with a controversial political patronage and visible conflict of interest.

Be it leasing of aircraft, procurement of technical stores, or choice of appointing GSA and GHA, violation of transparent laid down procedures are a common factor. Irregularities in RBDs for Umra or Hajj and other peak load seasonal sales of tickets have led to pilferage of billions in revenues for the airline, when marketing officers in connivance with select travel agents released bulk seats at low fares to them, causing financial losses to PIA, with a bonanza for this nexus of the corrupt.

While airlines all over the world prefer to acquire technical spares from a range of varied approved vendors, PIA has decided to appoint an unknown sole vendor. This will deny PIA not just competitive prices, but cause prolonged technical delays and grounding. Almost every vendor supplying aviation spares offers a credit line. The factors that dictate the choice of a supplier for aircraft parts depend on the location of the vendor and his proximity to the site of the aircraft grounded and availability of part at the most affordable cost to an airline.

In case an airplane is in a critical state, such as Aircraft On Ground status, airlines tend to pay higher price to expedite their operation and earn valuable revenues. It seems PIA by default will be resorting to buy expensive spares because every technical delay will lead to an AOG status since the airline has made a suicidal mistake of denying itself a range of vendors by limiting their supply line to one vendor with a first right of refusal. Those responsible for this criminal decision have done immense damage to this vital national asset.



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