ISLAMABAD - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA's) revival is a top priority and all efforts are aimed towards turnaround of the airline beneficial for the airline's shareholders, employees and passengers.

This was stated by Shujaat Azeem, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Aviation, in his first message to PIA employees.

According to a statement issued here, Shujaat Azeem said the federal government is providing support for revival of the airline and Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is very keen to see the turnaround of PIA as soon as possible.

He said there will be no lay-offs, rather growth and development will be the only strategy prevailing in the national flag carrier. He said meetings will be held with all the unions and associations for their enhanced contribution towards the betterment of airline and with their help we will achieve our objectives. We believe in consultation and not confrontation. Honesty, hard work and reward system will prevail across the board, he assured the employees. However, there will be no political interference and zero tolerance for corruption will prevail, he said. 

Azeem asserted that the fears of lay- offs in the national flag carrier were all based on rumours and hearsay. "The fact is that the present government is aware of the economic issues being faced by the country and is not in favour of lay-offs in PIA," Shujaat Azeem said.  Shujaat Azeem said all out efforts are being made to make PIA a profitable entity by way of achieving revenues and reducing costs without compromising on service standards.

He appreciated the efforts of the employees and said that the performance of last month and the successful ongoing Umrah season are very encouraging. The recently started phone, SMS and email services on PIA Boeing 777 aircraft are also a good initiative for the convenience of passengers, he added. He said that the airline has acquired 04 aircraft on damp lease while induction of 03 A320 aircraft with confirmed deliveries will start from July 2014.

Furthermore, 10 additional fuel efficient narrow body aircraft will be acquired for which the tender advertisements will be placed very soon.

The PIA will be equipped with newer fuel efficient narrow body aircraft which will help in restoration of old routes and flights suspended due shortage of fleet. There will be increase in frequencies on profitable routes. We have decided to modernize this airline by installing latest technological infrastructure at par with others in the market. Shujaat Azeem said that emphasis is being made on increasing revenue base by way of implementing additional frequencies on profitable routes and new destinations to be added to the airline's network purely on commercial basis while aircraft inductions are also being made to meet demand capacity and maintain the airline's flights schedule. 

The PIA employees welcomed the appointment of Shujaat Azeem as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Aviation who has the aviation background and a strong will to turn around PIA.