Published On: Sat, Oct 17th, 2015

Palpa warns of another go-slow as row still unresolved

(files) In this file photo dated October 29, 2008 shows a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aeroplane parks on a landing strip at Karachi airport in Karachi.  Heavily armed militants attacked Pakistan's busiest airport in the southern city of Karachi June 8, 2014 night, killing at least six people as flights were suspended and the army was called in, officials said.    AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN/FILES

Karachi: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aeroplane parks on a landing strip at  airport. -AFP

KARACHI, Pakistan: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots’ body on Saturday warned that it may go for another slowdown as its agreement with the government is still not implemented, sources said.

“The delay in the implementation of the agreement [to have] reached between pilots and PIA at the senate’s standing committee is prompting another episode of pilots’ strike in near future,” said Captain Amir Hashmi, President at the Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (Palpa).

Palpa, claiming to represent 400 pilots in PIA, had ended a six-day-long go-slow last week after the senate standing committee on cabinet intervened to mediate between the airline and its pilots to resolve the pending disputes.

The strike led to cancellations of more than 80 local and international flights and disturbed the flight schedule, causing hardships for the passengers.

The pilots’ body demanded the airline to replace the director of flight operations, withdraw all show-cause notices, conduct inquiries/investigations into legal notices issued to pilots on disciplinary grounds, reinstate all grounded pilots and fix seniority of pilots.

The PIA’s management hadn’t bowed down to the demands, and during the strike even called naval aviators to ensure a smooth flight operation.

PIA has 41 aircraft, including Boeing 777, Airbus A320 and ATR, and 436 pilots on its roster.

The pilots’ body, however, claimed that “both senate standing committee and opposition leaders made statements that Palpa is justified in its demands after listening to us.”

A source said the Palpa’s members are pressurising their “executive committee to take an extreme action this time if the management and aviation division don’t act as per the agreement in Islamabad.”

“Palpa planned to approach the prime minister to apprise him of the agreement reached last week but not implemented.”

Hashmi said the PIA flight operation management failed to honour the working agreement with Palpa through “continuous violations of different articles, especially scheduling, and then the Chairman was not signing it due to pressure from aviation division on him.”

“PIA management has not so far initiated discussion on working agreement with Palpa, which shows the protest of the pilots went unheard,” he added.


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