PIA issue to be resolved within 2-3 days: Malik
11 February, 2011
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Rehman Malik said on Thursday that the issue of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was expected to be resolved within two to three days.
Talking to media persons after having a meeting with PIA Joint Action Committee (JAC), the minister said that he would submit the demands of the committee to the prime minister. He said that the disruption of PIA flights due to the workers’ strike had caused a loss of Rs400 million to the national exchequer.
He said the JAC has gone on strike as they were not happy with a proposed route-sharing deal with the Turkish Airlines. The minister said both the sides had agreed to continue the talks today (Friday).
He said the resolution of the issue may take some time. Meanwhile, the PIA management welcomed the meeting of JAC representatives with Rehman Malik. AFP adds from Karachi: The PIA employees continued their strike for third consecutive day, stranding 25,000 passengers as the troubled state carrier said it had cancelled nearly 100 flights.
PIA says at least 90 flights have been cancelled since the strike began on Tuesday, including to Britain, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. “We have cancelled around 60 flights today (Thursday), which includes 10 international flights including those scheduled for Birmingham, London, Dubai, Kabul, Kathmandu and Dhaka,” PIA spokesman Mashood Tajwar told AFP.
He said flights from all airports were grounded until 3:00pm but expressed hope the situation would improve following further talks with union leaders. Another PIA official said about 25,000 passengers had been affected by the cancelled flights.
Two PIA officials told AFP on condition of anonymity that the strike action was costing the airline one billion rupees.
Suhail Baluch, president of the Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA), said the strike would continue until the codeshare agreement was abandoned, Managing Director Aijaz Haroon sacked and all suspended employees reinstated.
Online adds from Lahore: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has banned the entry of PIA employees and union representatives into the Lahore airport premises to protect valuable property from any unforeseen damages.
Source said the CAA took this step after taking the PIA authorities on board and only those employees will be allowed to enter the airport whose names are included in the list provided by PIA.