LONDON - In a shocking development, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) appointed senior-level officers in the United Kingdom at a time when the carrier is facing a financial crunch.
The national carrier appointed a country manager at an annual salary of £70,000, whereas, the annual salary of another passenger sales manager was fixed at £55,000.
Moreover, the newly-appointed finance manager would receive £55,000 while another manager was appointed at the Manchester station on an annual salary worth £55,000 with other perks.
What is mind-bending at the moment is the fact that the national carrier is not operating direct flights to the United Kingdom; flight operations to the United Kingdom came to a halt in 2020 and have not resumed since then.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the national carrier defended the move and explained that PIA continued its flight operation on the basis of code sharing agreement with Turkish Airlines in the UK and was earning £14 million annually.
The spokesperson was of the view that merely 1.8% of earnings are being spent on the PIA staffers in the United Kingdom (UK), ARY News reported.
The spokesperson was hopeful that Pakistan-UK direct flight operations would be resumed soon and country manager and sales managers were appointed due to the same early restoration of direct flights to the UK.
The news came a day after the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) froze the accounts of the national flag carrier over non-payment of more than Rs 8 billion in taxes.
The national carrier is facing severe challenges with each passing day. Recently, it demanded a bailout package worth Rs 23 billion from the federal government but the request was denied.
There have been demands for privatizing the national carrier due to its economic nonviability. Former Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique also stressed the importance of privatizing the carrier or else it would have to shut operations.
In the final days of the PDM regime, it was also decided to privatize loss-making Pakistan International Airlines during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatization chaired by then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
The committee “after deliberation decided to include Pakistan International Airlines Co. Ltd. in the list of active privatization projects of the ongoing privatization program, following an amendment in the law by the Parliament,” a finance ministry statement said.
The decision to privatize PIA comes amid measures to reduce the losses of the national exchequer through different state-owned enterprises; the national carrier is also set to resume flights to the United Kingdom and other European destinations by October.
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Sunday.
On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 283.4 for buying and 285.95 for selling.
Euro comes down to 307 for buying and 310 for selling. British Pound rate remains unchanged at 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||358.5||362|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.37||36.72|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||175.33||177.33|
Gold prices decreased in local markets in line with the trend in the international market.
On Sunday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs216,300, and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs185,450.
Single tola of 22 Karat Gold price costs Rs198,274, 21 karat rate per tola costs Rs189,263 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,225 for each tola.
In the global market, gold prices hovers around $2,004 per ounce, after drop of $23.35 on Sunday.
|Lahore||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Karachi||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Islamabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Peshawar||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Quetta||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Sialkot||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Attock||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Gujranwala||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Jehlum||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Multan||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Gujrat||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Nawabshah||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Chakwal||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Hyderabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Nowshehra||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Sargodha||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Faisalabad||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|
|Mirpur||PKR 216,300||PKR 2,486|