In a recent development, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has come under scrutiny for making new staff appointments in the United Kingdom (UK) despite grappling with a severe financial crisis and a three-year ban on direct flights to the United Kingdom (UK).

According to ARY News, the national flag carrier, PIA, has faced mounting challenges in recent years, with the ban on direct flights to the UK being a significant blow to its operations. Despite these challenges, the airline has proceeded to appoint officers and staff members with substantial salaries.

Notably, the PIA country manager has been appointed with an annual salary of £70,000, while the passenger sales manager and finance manager will each receive £55,000 annually. Furthermore, a manager has been assigned to the Manchester station with a yearly compensation package of £55,000, coupled with other perks.

RELATED STORIES

Responding to these appointments and the ongoing financial crisis, a PIA spokesperson explained that the airline has continued its flight operations in the UK by collaborating through code-sharing agreements with Turkish Airlines, which generates an annual revenue of £14 million. The spokesperson emphasised that a mere 1.8% of these earnings are allocated to PIA staff in the UK.

The PIA spokesperson also expressed optimism about the resumption of direct flight operations between Pakistan and the UK, citing this as a reason for the recent appointments of the country manager and sales manager.

However, the controversy surrounding PIA deepened when the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) froze the airline’s bank accounts due to non-payment of more than Rs8 billion in taxes. A total of 26 bank accounts belonging to the national carrier have been locked by the FBR.

The FBR revealed that PIA had pledged to settle Rs2 billion in dues under Federal Excise Duty in August, but it failed to honour this commitment, leading to the account freeze.

Despite this financial setback, the PIA spokesperson reassured the public that the closure of bank accounts would not disrupt Pakistan International Airlines’ flight operations. The airline remains committed to maintaining its services in the UK while navigating this challenging period.

As the situation unfolds, stakeholders and industry observers continue to monitor PIA’s financial stability and the progress towards the resumption of direct flights between Pakistan and the UK.