ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Several flights were cancelled on the 6th day of deadlock between Pakistan International Airline and its pilots’ association, PALPA, adding to the miseries of passengers.
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Owing to persistent stand-off, more than 70 flights including 30 international and 45 domestic flights were cancelled on Tuesday.
Another round of talks between Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA) and the government ended without any productive outcome as deadlock continues.
PALPA president Capt Amir Hashmi was called to Aviation Division Tuesday afternoon and was informed by the senior joint secretary Aviation Division, Capt Ahmed Latif, that the PALPA’s demands are tantamount to challenging the writ of PIA management, hence unacceptable.
The association is demanding immediate replacement of Director Flights Operation, immediate withdrawal of all show cause notices, inquiries/ investigations and legal notices issued to pilots on disciplinary grounds and reinstatement of all grounded pilots, and fixation of seniority of pilots as per the wishes of PALPA.
Mr Latif further told Mr Hashmi that there should be no preconditions and PALPA should immediately resume normal flight operation. However, the PIA management is willing to sit with PALPA representatives and listen to their legitimate demands, he added.
A way forward was offered to PALPA that a team may be constituted comprising four senior pilots of PIA and four representatives of PALPA, along with two observers from PIA management, which would formulate future course of action to resolve all pertaining issues within 24-48 hours.
Unfortunately, PALPA President refused to budge and insisted that PALPA’s three said demands be met forthwith.
This inflexible stance of pilots is causing inconvenience to the passengers and inflicting unnecessary financial and other losses to the national carrier.
Mr Hashmi has alleged that doctrine of might is right is in place in PIA. “PM’s Adviser on Aviation Shujaat Azim appoints chairman of PIA to whom he likes and appoints as DG civil aviation to whom he wants,” he maintained.
On the other hand, a PIA spokesman has said all the precautionary measures will be taken to overcome shortage of pilots and to deal with the situation. “The PIA management will take all necessary measures possible to facilitate the smooth operation of all PIA flights especially the Haj flights,” he added.