LAHORE: Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Air Marshal Arshad Malik said on Thursday that financial restructuring of PIA is well on the way and would be finalised soon.

He stated this following a signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to facilitate the business community and to build cordial business relations.

The PIA will offer a special discount to the LCCI members. PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik and LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations. The LCCI office-bearers were also present on the occasion.

Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that the PIA’s revenue has increased and showed gross profit in the months of September and October. He said that the efforts for improvement have started yielding results in the PIA despite the COVID-19 and other challenges.

He said that open sky policy has caused huge loss to the PIA. He further said that cargo space utilization of the airline has been increased and Boeing 777 aircrafts can be used for cargo transportation. The PIA is focusing the profitable routes based on demand prospects and commercial viability.

He went on to say that unlike the past, all business decisions were now made collectively and political intervention has ended, he said.

Arshad Malik said that no planning or up-gradation was made in the past for in-flight entertainment and passengers’ comfort on board the aircraft. He said that a system is being planned to be upgraded for the convenience of passengers on long haul flights. He said that merit had been implemented in PIA and all promotions and foreign postings had been done purely on merit without any outside influence. He said that the golden shake policy has been introduced for 3000 employees.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that Lahore Chamber would collaborate with PIA to form a strategic business partnership to ensure that the members of the business community prefer PIA services for their domestic and international visits. He hoped that the MoU will go a long way in facilitating the business community of Lahore.

The business community is showing its concerns to the government over the extra financial burden on budget caused by under-performance of a few public sector enterprises (PSEs), he added.

He said the Lahore Chamber has already established several important help desks of various government departments under one roof. The main motive of LCCI behind these initiatives is to serve its members and create ease of doing business for them. It is needless to mention that it is all because of cooperation extended by the government departments and organisations.