ISLAMABAD - Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Managing Director Capt Junaid Yunus along with two top officials of the airlines on Monday ‘quietly’ flew to Turkey on the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Though there was no official word about the visit of top managers of the national flag career but sources in the corporation said that the way the visit was kept secret has raised suspicions and the government may go for the materialisation of the record of discussion (ROD) reached between the bosses of PIA and Turkish Airlines in a meeting held in 2010 according to which the PIA would lease out flight operations to United States, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Netherlands under a commercial joint venture to Turkish Airlines.
But as the move was vehemently opposed by all and sundry the then PPP leadership had dropped the idea and instead had taken measures for the revival of the PIA.
However, now the PML-N government had come out with a clear plan of PIA’s privatisation and under the plan some 26 per cent shares of the corporation would be sold out with administrative rights and the possibility of entering into some sort of agreement with Turkish Airlines could not be ruled out, a source in the department informed The Nation.
He said that calling of PIA MD to Turkey by the Prime Minister during the middle of his three-day tour that too in a clandestine way has made the whole exercise suspicious.
He further informed that on December 29, 2010 the then MD PIA Captain Muhammad Aijaz Haroon and President and Chief Executive Officer Turkish Airlines Dr Temel Kotil had signed record of discussion (ROD) wherein it was proposed that PIA would lay off its flight operations to several European states and America to Turkish Airlines while the Turkish Airlines would pay certain fixed amount to PIA in lieu of that.
But the move was thwarted by the strong protest from within the department as at that time all the proposed routes to be given to Turkish Airlines were running in profit and the deal if materialised would be disastrous for the PIA.