PIA gives official statement regarding salary cut issue

On claims on deduction of salaries by 44% by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots, the spokesperson of the airline, Abdullah Khan confirmed that Chief Executive Officer of the national flag carrier on Monday ordered an inquiry into the matter asking relevant department to seek explanation from the concerned individual who made the false claims, innuendo and maligning the organization to gain personal advantage.

Earlier the pilots referred the Admin Order issued by the Chief HR Officer of the company, Mr. Amer Altaf, on the reduction of guaranteed flying hours. It was claimed that 25 percent reduction has been made in the salaries of the flyers of the ailing national carrier, severely hit by COVID-19 and European Union suspension after the pilots-gate scandal in the aftermath of May 22, 2020 air accident whereas the Spokesperson for PIA clarified that the salary deductions that were being made since April 2020 has now been discontinued, restoring the salary levels of all employees including the pilots to pre-COVID levels. The same has already been intimated to the airline employees through an email dated October 28, 2020.

The spokesperson clarified that the quoted admin order was issued in line with the Supreme Courts mandated Special Audit of PIA’s (2007-2018) observations to rationalize the excess allowances payments which were guaranteed to the flyers regardless how much they actually flew. The average flying made by a pilot in PIA was closer to 40 hours per month however previously PIA has committed to the pilots that they would be paid 75 hours worth of guaranteed flying allowance, regardless if they flew that much or not, as part of their monthly salary.

With the financial crunch hitting the aviation industry globally and subsequently with the number of flights going down forcing airlines to cut down salaries and workforce, it was purposeless to pay for guaranteed allowances.

Now the flying allowance has been set as per actual flying undertaken by the pilots and pilots has been given incremental incentive if they fly more than 50 hours a month. Apart from that there has been no reduction in the basic salaries, house rents and even in the rate of the flying allowances of the pilots.

The spokesperson termed the claims of salary reduction as baseless and as an attempt to gather sympathies by concocting facts.

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