PIA pilots put under essential services

KARACHI — Pakistan government in a drastic measure placed services of pilots employed in the national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), under the umbrella of Pakistan Essential Services Maintenance Act 1958.

By Rehan Siddiqui

Published: Mon 30 Aug 2010, 11:10 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 9:52 AM

This step, for the first time in Pakistan’s aviation industry history, was taken on the PIA management’s request to the Ministry of Defence, under which the national carrier operates.

The notification issued by the Home Ministry would be for six months and it was released to the Press late Saturday night following the on-going dispute over work-to-the-rule operated by PALPA, association of PIA pilots.

A PIA spokesman admitted to Khaleej Times that the management had no choice but to go to the Ministry of Defence because PALPA’s attitude was causing heavy financial losses to the airline and passengers were also suffering.

According to the notification PIA pilots with immediate effect cannot hold any strike or protest besides their bargaining rights and the guilty pilots could be prosecuted under the law.

PAPLA officials denounced the decision and called it a draconic measure and warned that they would soon knock the doors of the courts against the implementation of the law as “our fundamental right”.

PIA had accused PALPA of adopting “go-slow” policy that was not only inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of passengers it was also causing daily millions of rupees of losses due to cancellation of flights as well as delayed departures.

Flight on schedule

PIA flight schedule of Sunday for domestic and international flights has normalised as cockpit crew timely reported for duty at all the major airports in the country, PIA spokesman said.

“Five International flights, thirteen domestic flights departed from Islamabad, eight international, thirty seven domestic flights from Karachi while one international and nine domestic flights took off Lahore according to the flight operations schedule,” he said.


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