Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pakistan International Airlines, Pilots’ Association sign working agreement

LAHORE - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) have mutually agreed to finalize the working agreement for the year 2011-2013 without any revision in pay and allowances. A spokesman for PALPA said in a statement that considering the financial condition of the national flag carrier the pilots association has already voluntarily dropped chapter two from the working agreement after completing negotiations on procedural issues. The spokesman mentioned that the working agreement was needed to address safety and operational issues. The financial aspect is also a part of the same negotiation, hence after every two years it is renegotiated; but this time round it was dropped from final implementation.

He further said that the since the Working Agreement was of procedural nature it cannot be called an extraordinary favor, thus projecting it as if the association has taken financial benefits is not only wrong but misleading as well. Not only that the association has dropped the pay and allowances from this Working Agreement but has further offered to reduce guaranteed flying hours from 70 to 50, flying allowance on Long Range flights from $350 to $275 and all additional flying allowances given to management pilots over and above normal allowances paid to all regular non-management pilots have also been withdrawn forthwith.

He said PALPA has contributed significantly to improve airline’s financial conditions by suggesting cost cutting measures in cabin and cockpit crew flight and stay patterns abroad besides many in-flight and on-ground measures through which the airline is saving huge amounts specially in foreign exchange. President PALPA, Captain Suhail Baluch, stated in a press release that PALPA members have agreed unanimously not to ask for financial benefits from the PIA management in protest over its wrong decisions which have brought the national air carrier on the verge of collapse.

He said that the credibility of PIA has been shaken badly in the eyes of its customers and international aviation industry too all due to a series of decisions, marred with corruption and nepotism, which left the airline in a quagmire. He referred to the consistent delays in PIA flights, especially in Pre and Post Hajj operations, as well as recurring technical faults in PIA aircraft one after another posing serious threats to the safety of passengers and aircraft, and the dubious leasing of more aircraft resulting in the loss of billions of dollars of airline’s finance.

Suhail Baluch said PIA management has completely failed to handle the affairs of the airline and is not carrying out due and proper care of the PIA fleet so as to create artificial justification to lease more aircraft to serve vested interests. He said PIA management should overhaul its grounded aircraft first instead of taking leased planes and should do away with the spare-parts supply contract to inefficient companies like Transworld Aviation, FZE, which have no proven experience of working with commercial airlines. He said PALPA is aware of the financial constraints of the national air carrier and admits that PIA is facing acute shortage of funds. Nevertheless, he added, PALPA members and other employees of the airline can never be blamed for the dire financial crisis as the management is solely responsible for PIA funds and decisions in this regard. He thanked MD PIAC for signing the negotiated and agreed PALPA-PIAC Working Agreement 2011-2013 minus Article II, as per international aviation rules and regulations it is mandatory to have an agreement between pilots and airline management to ensure smooth functioning and adherence to all international safety rules.

No comments:

Post a Comment