PIA 747 lease agreements draw protest

Victoria
By Victoria January 3, 2012 22:57

PIA 747 lease agreements draw protest

The decision by the management of Pakistan International Airlines to lease two 747s from Hellenic Airways has caused a strange revolt amongst its employees. Last week, a joint action committee of employees told the management that they will not provide any service on the leased aircraft and will demand the management bring its own fleet into operation. This against a backdrop of PIA’s flight operations still facing difficulties maintaining flight punctuality due to a shortage of aircraft after some planes were grounded because there were not enough spare parts for their repairs. Rather than purchase more spare parts, however, the state-owned airline has leased two planes from the Greek airline at a cost of between $10 million and $12 million, which employees say could be used to have eight to 10 engines overhauled.

PIA’s management also has plans to lease A320s along with hiring an operating cabin and cockpit crew.

The employee unions and representatives argue that if more aircraft are needed after bringing PIA’s own fleet into operations, it should opt for Boeing 737s which are already in service in PIA and the airline has a full staff and technical strength, but the priority should be to make PIA’s own fleet workable.

The cancellation of around 1,200 PIA flights between August and November 2011 has inflicted a loss of around Rs410 million to the airline.

PIA has leased three engines at a rate of $300 per hour per engine, while its own engines are overhauled and ready for installation at Singapore and Amman. The unions are particularly critical of the contract for the supply of spare parts with a Dubai-based company called Transworld, which critics says specialises in military, not commercial aviation, and has not helped its situation.

Fuel too is being taken out of one aircraft to service another aircraft such is the scarcity of resources at the airline. With hangars are filled to the brim, there is no space remaining for newly-grounded aircraft.

Victoria
By Victoria January 3, 2012 22:57
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