Suspension of flight operation leaves PIA in financial distress

--Senior officers announce voluntary cut in salary

The suspension of flight operations across the country amid the coronavirus outbreak has virtually pushed the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) towards severe financial trouble.

The officers of the national flag-carrier have decided to take voluntary salary cut in view of the worsening situation.

According to a statement issued by a PIA spokesman, PIA Chief Executive Officer Arshad Malik has voluntarily cut his salary by 20 per cent.

Additional salary cuts include 20pc for Department Chief Officers, 15pc for General Managers, 10pc for Deputy General Managers and 8pc for Managers.

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This step aims to ease the burden faced by the international airlines at a time when the business has come to a grinding halt, the spokesman further said.

PIA previously announced that the flight ban would start from Saturday and would continue till April 4, Abdul Sattar Khokar, a spokesman of the official Civil Aviation Authority, said in a statement.

Hours earlier, the government had announced suspension of all international flights operated by the national airline for a week.

“After carefully examining all options, the government of Pakistan has decided to suspend operation of all international passenger, chartered, and private flights to Pakistan, effective from 21st March 2020 (2000 hrs local time) to 4th April 2020 (2000 hrs local time),” the statement added.

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