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PIA to ground Manchester, Amsterdam ops from 26th
 
 
 

LAHORE - For, what aviation analysts term, implementation of an agreement between the Pakistan International Airlines and the Turk Hava Yollari, the PIA is going to cease its Manchester and Amsterdam operation from October 26 without prior notice to passengers who had made reservations, sources said on Friday.According to the THY-PIA deal, the national airline is bound to operate direct flights only to London, Toronto, Oslo, Paris and Copenhagen. A former PIA marketing executive said this move would result in loss of national flag carrier’s credibility among its loyal clients and major profits since the airport was a revenue-generating international station.It is also alleged that the brokers of THY-PIA deal, who got staggering commission, had been mounting pressure on the authorities concerned to implement it. The PIA was supposed to implement it for its summer schedule in 2011 but could not do so because of strikes against the move.The PIA marketing director is stated to be among the brokers of the deal. The director, who was terminated over disciplinary grounds, has been reinstated after his KP-based accomplice and PIA DMD serving in Investment maneuvered to get him reinstated. These two men were close aides of former MD Aijaz Haroon, who was terminated after a major shutdown strike called jointly by all PIA unions and associations.The PIA could have temporarily suspended its loss-inflicting routes like Copenhagen, Paris, Barcelona etc instead of rushing to cease its lucrative business point after the pre-Haj schedule on October 26 since expats used to celebrate Eid in their homeland. The THY has already been given traffic rights from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and with a 151-aircraft fleet, it was seeking more passenger revenue-generating market, a senior PIA officer said on condition of anonymity.On the other hand, a PIA spokesperson said that a marketing study was being conducted and after its completion, flight frequency would be increased on the profit-giving stations.The official claimed that there was a rise in demand on South East Asia and Middle East sectors but the PIA flights were insufficient thus profit could be earned by increasing the number of flights on these sectors. However, he said the final decision would be made after appointment of PIA chairman and MD.  Manchester serves as an airport of convenience for the majority of expatriates in the UK, especially from Mirpur, Jhelum and Pothohar, KP, Hazara, AJK and northern areas, who prefer to travel on it. 

 
 
on epaper page 15
 
 
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