February 7, 2020: Minister Incharge for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Friday informed the Senate that losses of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have decreased to Rs 11 billion from Rs 32 billion during 2019 as compared to year 2018 owing to good governance and better management.
Responding to various supplementary questions during Question Hour, the Minister said the government took various pragmatic steps to overcome the deficit and put it on right track.
He said more flights were being operated on commercially viable routes to enhance revenue.
He said PIA was passing through dire financial state but the present government was very keen to make it self-reliant. Efforts were underway to improve the financial health of the Corporation by reducing its losses/ deficit through various means and modes, he added.
It is worth mentioning that despite facing difficulties, PIACL has been able to improve upon its performance with an objective of reduction in losses.
He said the major reason behind PIA' s losses was the increased financial cost due inherited legacy loans of previous governments and rising mark ups and debt servicing.
Moreover, significant increase in fuel prices and devaluation of currency etc. had also contributed towards losses, he added.
The minister said the decrease in losses was being addressed at two levels, enhancing revenues and curtailment of costs.
Revenue side was being addressed by improving market share through realigning sales team, manning stations on merit, aggressive sales promotion, improvement in product and services, focusing on revenue generation through ancillary sources, mounting new flights and expanding on existing productive routes such as KSA and Gulf.
The cost curtailment side was being addressed through austerity measures and cutting down on unnecessary administrative expenses, discipline and accountability in functions to tap leakages and wastage, cutting down loss making routes and other ventures, route rationalization and shifting operational facilities suitable to PIA flight operations, he added.
To another question, the minister said $ 10 was being charged as airport charges for Security and Infrastructure Development per International Departing Passenger. Continuous difficulties were being faced as result of devaluation of rupees, were causing inconvenience to passenger due to demand by airlines (difference of dollar rate) at the issuance of boarding pass, he added.
He said considering the complexities in charging amount in dollars, PCAA has rationalized fixed rate of Airport Charges @ PKR 2,800/- effective from June 23, 2019.
To a question, the minister said the Annual Report (containing financial statements) of Pakistan International Airlines, for the period ended December, 2017 was duly submitted to Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, on August 2, 2019. Similarly, the Annual Report for the year ended December, 2018 was submitted to SECP on December 3, 2019, he added.
He said the SECP also de-listed PIA from the default list.