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ISLAMABAD: Chief Executive Officer of PIA, Air Marshal (retd) Arshad Malik visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) along with his team and signed an MoU with Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President ICCI to offer 10 percent discount to ICCI members and their immediate families on domestic and international flights.

Addressing the business community Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that PIA was now focusing on corporate customers for business generation and signing of MoU with ICCI was part of such efforts. He said that with the improvement in airline’s finances, PIA would consider offering up to 25 percent discount to ICCI members.

He said that the business community should facilitate PIA in improving its cargo business. He said that PIA was ready to dedicate aircrafts for cargo flights if private sector supported it with more business volume. He said that PIA needed an advisory board with representation of chambers in it. He said that PIA would soon start direct flight to Baku from Lahore and to Uzbekistan from March this year.

Arshad Malik said that PIA was a very challenging organisation, but he was determined to address its challenges. He said that PIA in the past was not given commercial sense, but now with the efforts of his professional team, PIA has been put back on track. He said that unfortunately Covid-19 has badly hit the aviation industry.

He said that the outlook of PIA would be changed and old aircraft would be swapped with better quality and competitive aircrafts. He said that PIA HQ was not being shifted, rather there was a shift in its business model as 70 percent commercial activity was now towards north and south regions due to which PIA was focusing on these regions for business promotion. He said that regulator should facilitate airlines. He said that a consultancy team has arrived in Pakistan to prepare a business plan for PIA that would come out within 8 weeks.

Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) appreciated the initiatives of Air Marshal Arshad Khan for bringing crucial reforms in PIA to revive its old glory. He said that airlines played an important role in business and economic development of a country, therefore, improving the performance of PIA was vital to promote Pakistan’s trade and exports to international markets.

He said that many areas of Pakistan including AJK and Northern Areas have great potential for tourism and said that PIA should start flights to Rawalakot, Muzaffarabad, GB and other destinations to promote tourism. He thanked CEO PIA for offering discount to ICCI members and hoped that it would be helpful in exploring new markets for promoting business interests of Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021