In what gives off an impression of being an obscure endeavor to ease worries about the presumable moving of the head office of the national flag bearer from Karachi, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said on Monday that the transfer of its workers to Islamabad did not “by any way [means] transferring the airline’s head office”.
Pilots, cabin crew, engineers and many different staffs working at the PIA head office and settled in the common city for a considerable length of time have been moving to Islamabad as far back as Air Marshal Arshad Malik assumed responsibility for the national transporter as its CEO.
The discretionary exchanges produced gossip that the new administration needed to move the aircraft’s head office from Karachi to Islamabad.
On May 13, the Senate adopted a resolution with a lion’s share vote restricting the supposed movement of the PIA head office from Karachi to Islamabad. Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, however, opposed the resolution, fuelling speculation that the government wanted to shift the head office in the near future.
In the midst of a demeanor of uncertainty, the PIA management at long last thought of a reaction on Monday and explained that the national transporter was not “moving” its central command, yet it had plans to make the new Islamabad International Airport as the “airline’s hub”.
“The PIA is not shifting its head office but moving fast to implement and achieve economic viability as envisaged in the airline’s business plan,” said a PIA spokesman.
“The management is reorganizing its human resources to utilize them more efficiently and effectively. In doing so, it is re-positioning its employees to different stations throughout Pakistan. The management is in the process of transferring its employees to Islamabad and other stations wherever required to cope up with the workload, demand potential, and future prospects,” the spokesman added.
While the spokesman said that the PIA “operates 22 flights per week to European destinations from Islamabad as compared to two from Karachi”, he did not mention the reasons as to why the national carrier chose to operate more flights from a much small city and neglected the fact that many foreign airlines are still operating more flights from Karachi.
Likewise, senior Pakistan Peoples Party pioneer Senator Sherry Rehman had told the Senate on May 13 that air traffic in Islamabad had not expanded to the degree that it had in Karachi. “The government is crippling Pakistan’s commercial hub because it lacks political control there. It is taking Karachi’s flights and re-routing them to Islamabad, it is trying to strip Karachi of its commercial base, of its roots, of its power to hold PIA in a commercial center,” she had said.
In what appeared to be an attempt to build their case in favor of Islamabad, the spokesman said: “The New Islamabad airport, which is now the largest airport of the country, is a great opportunity for PIA to further enhance its network as majority of the international flights operate from the north region.”