PIA promised to rationalise fares

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RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has promised to ‘rationalise’ its fares, following complaints by passengers they are being overcharged for special flights.

Air Marshal Arshad Malik, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the PIA, held out the assurance that he would look into the assertion of overcharging based on high operating costs associated with these flights.

The national flag carrier has recently been facing complaints of high fares and Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the minister for aviation, took up the case with the CEO in a meeting in Islamabad on Monday.

The aviation minister had inquired about the fares. In response, the CEO had explained that as most of the flights were ferry flights or were flown with limited number of passengers due to ceiling put forth by the government, to make such flights economically viable, slightly higher fares were being charged.

The CEO was also concerned over the recent spate of complaints, said a spokesperson for the airline, adding that he had simultaneously ordered officials to consider revision of fares for benefit of expatriate Pakistanis in this time of need.

A meeting was held here at Islamabad between Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik to review the special operations to bring back stranded Pakistanis and for repatriation of foreigners stuck in this country.

Various arrangements, including safety measures, disinfection of the planes at and outside Pakistan, adherence to various safety protocols and safety of crew, were deliberated upon.

During the discussion, the minister inquired about the fares being charged by PIA on its special flights.

The minister was informed that as most of the flights were ferry flights or were flown with limited number of passengers due to ceiling put forth by the government, to make such flights economically viable, slightly higher fares were being charged from the passengers.

Mr Malik assured the minister that he would look into the assertion of overcharging based on high operating costs associated with these flights.

On the other hand, Aviation Minister Sarwar Khan chaired a meeting with Aviation Secretary Hassan Nasir Jamy and senior officers of the division. The aviation secretary highlighted ongoing efforts of the Civil Aviation Authority to reclaim hundreds of acres of encroached land.

While emphasising the need to speed up the anti-encroachment efforts of Civil Aviation Authority, the aviation minister showed firm resolve to get rid of the illegal occupation of CAA land.

The federal minister instructed the officers of the aviation division to put this matter on the highest priority in order to settle the land issues of Civil Aviation Authority, without any delay and to be updated on this matter on weekly basis.

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