LAHORE - PIA has disbanded the Way Forward Committee which brought remarkable results in saving revenue, pointing out corruption and loopholes eating up precious resources, due to reasons best known to the management.

The Chairman PIA, secretary aviation division who until recently were all praise for the committee took this decision on the fourth of this month and stated that the Way Forward Committee after having made significant contributions towards culmination of set out objectives is no more functional.

However a former member of the committee seeking anonymity said that the committee did not complete its work as quite many departments were still to be audited/ scrutinised for betterment. This abrupt end to the function of the committee through an order put a question on the commitment towards betterment of airlines, he lamented.

The source further added that if the management let the committee work more, the committee could have identified a number of revenue generation avenues for the turnaround of this national asset. ‘But some elements in the airline are fearful of being exposed. Perhaps they don’t want to be identified as responsible for the downfall of the airline. No doubt, the continuation of the committee was the need of the time.

Source said that the committee had recently started auditing different contracts but the one which made ripples was airline’s agreement for reservation system etc with Sabre which is eating up huge chunk of resource. The agreement has such a design that even if the traffic at PIA gets reduced the Sabre company will get enhanced commissions etc. For example the Haj systems have continuous upward revisions of passengers every year whereas in actual PIA is loosing number of passengers on Haj flights.

It is worth adding here that the Way Forward Committee was formed in September last to undertake some out of the box solutions to reduce PIA’s expenses in operations without compromising safety. The committee comprised Captain Suhail Baluch as team leader, Secretary, First Officer, Syed Chakar Ali Shah, Aircraft Engineer Syed Zakir Farooq, Deputy Secretary, Flight Purser Noor Laghari, Assistant Manager, Anwar Hussain and senior Technician Obaidullah as members.

‘The committee was quite much successful in fulfilling its task as the national airline saved Rs 1 billion by working on the measures suggested by the committee in its first session. The committee submitted 20 proposals to the management and the chairman approved 14 out of them. The committee was working on co-branding, improvement in website and its mobile applications, cost effective options for wi-fi in air, and to reduce electricity and other utilities. The committee suggested the management to implement flight watch programme in phase 2,’ added the source.