Thursday, August 9, 2007

PIA, "The best waste of resources"


Pakistan International Airlines, the the first Asian airline to granted FAA's maintenance approval, the first airline in world to have a scheduled helicopter service, and and PIA was the one to introduce a computer to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan when it installed an IBM1401, and not only that amongst many of the things it is known for is being the first airline that had in-flight movies on international routes. Looking at all these records one easily wonders what happened to PIA? Why did PIA go from being an innovator of idea, and a leader in industry to being in debt Rs. 28 bn?

Well the answer is simple, waste, wasting of resources, wasting money and not managing it well. Most of it comes in the form of having too many employees. PIA with only 42(43 after the delivery of Boeing 777-300ER in 2008) aircrafts flying to 66 destinations have close to 20,000 employees. While Japan Airlines, Asia's biggest airline has 135 aircrafts, 75 additional aircrafts that have been ordered and flies to nearly double, 125 destinations and still only has less than 18,000 employees.

All those employees, you'd think PIA get more work done, but not really. More than half of my experiences with PIA flights have been more than 7 hours late. Even with extra 14,000 employees PIA still can not get to work properly, it is inconvenient, tedious, lacks information and I don't think it is ever updated.

There is a simple solution replace, delayer and downsize/expand, First step is to replace top management bring in some fresh minds with fresh ideas so PIA can be industry leader again. Next step delayer remove the different hierarchal positions to make communications faster and more reliable. Last step is downsize/expand, in other words buy more aircrafts to develop new routes to utilize the current good employees while downsizing and getting rid of the least productive employees, and Inshallah Pakistan International Airline will again become an industry leader it was.

Abu Abdullah,
The Doctor of Truth

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