According to Pakistan International Airline’s (PIA) Chief Executive Officer, Arshad Malik, the airline is now focusing on business generation by targeting corporate customers who can also boost its cargo business.
Upon visiting the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Arshad Malik addressed the business community and apprised it of the national flag carrier’s eagerness to designate separate aircraft for cargo flights if the private sector gives its confidence. In addition, he also stated that PIA was in need of an advisory board with representation from business chambers.
He further stated that “PIA will start direct flights to Baku from Lahore and to Uzbekistan from March this year.”
Moreover, he acknowledged that PIA has had several setbacks in the past, and now due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation has worsened, however, he also said that he was determined to focus on its recovery and get it back on track. “Covid-19 has badly dented the aviation industry,” said the CEO.
“The outlook of PIA will change and old aircraft will be swapped with better quality and competitive aircraft,” Arshad Malik maintained.
Furthermore, the CEO explained that PIA is making a shift in its business model and aims to focus more on the northern and southern parts of Pakistan because of the commercial boost these regions are experiencing.
In another development, during a meeting on Sunday with the Federal Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) delegation, headed by Qurban Ali, FPCCI’s chairman, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Air Marshal (retd) Arshad Malik, announced to increase the national airline’s flight operations to Gilgit-Baltistan and the surrounding region to enhance business, tourism, and connectivity.
“Currently the PIA has ongoing operations of 2 flights, which would be increased to 3 flights by March 28 to enhance the connectivity between Gilgit-Baltistan,” Arshad Malik expressed during the meeting.
“We want to enhance the cooperation with the business community and the community should come forward and play their due role in helping the PIA for making it more efficient and strong,” Malik stated, as per a press release issued by the FPCCI, adding that this increased connectivity would pave the way for employment, business culture, economy, tourism, trade, and investment, hence, a more flourishing and strengthened Pakistan.
Also discussed in the FPCCI meeting was the construction of a new runway at the Gilgit Airport as well as improved resources, services, and offices. PIA CEO also decided to decrease the passenger fare to further facilitate the business community and passengers of Gilgit-Baltistan.