Sacrifice Aviation Industry of Pakistan but keep the Secretary Aviation: What a Sane Decision!

Last 3 years have seen a complete destruction for our aviation industry besides approval of one of the best Aviation Policy 2019 by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Alone, the Secretary Aviation who is a bureaucrat with a Masters degree (MA) in rural development with zero aviation experience is keeping a very important post of Director General (DG) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as an additional charge which happens no where in the world.

His award winning achievements in last few years in destruction of aviation industry are irreversible colossal loss to our national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). After the crash of PK-8303, not even once secretary aviation had the courage to come on media and talk about the disaster. It was his responsibility to handle this crash not anyone’s else.

The biggest setback to PIA happened when a destitute license fiasco was unearthed in Pakistan for the first time. A candid Secretary Aviation also sitting as DG CAA couldn’t handle even a simple issue of license of a pilot and made a whole chaos around the world. Pakistani license holder across the world got embarrassed and more than 100 PIA pilots got suspended and later many airlines abroad laid off Pakistani pilots from their jobs which resulted in loss of millions of dollars in remittances.

Then came another disaster for PIA in terms of ban by European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) because of the same mishandling of license issue. This whole fiasco drowned PIA to rock bottom. PIA would have filed for bankruptcy had there been any other management today.

Till today, the Pakistan CAA as a regulatory body did not conduct a single meeting with all stake holders of airlines to give a feedback on this issue of EASA ban due license. Recently, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) even posted on their website regarding unsolved issues which is in fact a great embarrassment for our country when we are being compared with Bhutan, Eritrea, Grenada etc.

Is this really Pakistan’s actual worth today? Isn’t this incompetency of CAA headed by an incompetent DG and why are we still keeping quite over it?

We all know PIA cannot compete in the product with any other international airlines. The only plus PIA had was a direct connectivity to Europe which other carriers don’t offer. The same plus was nullified by our Secretary Aviation by granting direct routes to British Airways which was initially three flights from Islamabad, later increased to five & finally seven only from Islamabad.

Now, three weekly flights from Lahore have been granted as well. British Airways (BA) started with a Boeing 787-800 which is 226 seats approximately but this direct flight had such a heavy passenger load factor that it now BA is flying a Boeing 777 which is 350 seats. Imagine the kind of revenues being flying out of Pakistan in terms of foreign exchange to BA.

Our CAA seems extremely satisfied by giving more and more passengers to BA & in return get pennies for landing, aeronautical, parking, overflight charges.

If taxes is an incentive for our CAA, let it be known that Taxes are applicable as per Govt policy for all airlines equally. With such a great vision prevailing in CAA and Aviation Division, how can anyone expect a PIA turn around?

British Airways fired 10,000 employees & got a bailout over 1.1 billion USD during COVID-19 impact , and we are making sure that all the losses incurred by BA due to COVID-19 are offset by earning revenues from Pakistan & destroying our own PIA.

Another nail in PIA is being expected by Virgin Atlantic which filed for Bankruptcy in August 2020 and was actually collapsing but our incumbent Aviation Secretary felt its pain in Pakistan and made sure that Virgin Atlantic should not collapse, thus we have granted them direct routes from Pakistan starting December 13th from 4 weekly flights from Islamabad and three from Lahore. Emirates already flying 53 weekly flights from Pakistan. PIA share in international market has been reduced to only 30% which speaks volumes of our Aviation Secretary & Aviation Division.

Probably hidden aims are to reduce it down to 3% this year. Rest all the bankrupt airlines must look forward to our aviation division and incumbent Aviation Secretary who would never negotiate any Air Service Agreement (ASA) or a Bilateral Service Agreement (BSA) and will keep granting other airlines the routes unilaterally so those airlines can avoid bankruptcies and PIA should be bankrupted.

The Biggest issue we face as a nation and even High Court of Islamabad has taken a cognizant notice of this fact that in a population of 220 million, we are unable to find competent DG CAA despite receiving 700 applications and interviewing shortlisted 18 candidates recently and on High court Notice, the whole previous process was thrown in dust bin and a new process will start , GOD knows when. The Secretary Aviation who has played havoc with aviation industry of Pakistan has been extended as Acting DG CAA till 31 December, 2020.

The question is when we will actually realize that our Aviation industry is at verge of collapse due incompetent DG CAA. We need a capable person as DGCAA to bring this industry out of the rock bottom. No Aviation policy can be great unless its implementation is done by competent people.

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