Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) management on Monday rejected demands put forward by the Pakistan Airlines Pilot Association (Palpa) to end their gruelling strike, Express News reported.
“The three demands by Palpa are unacceptable,” a PIA spokesperson said. The demands include the immediate replacement of director flight operations, withdrawal of show-cause notices and inquiries against pilots (while reinstating all grounded pilots), and for seniority to be determined by the pilots.
PIA management said Palpa president refused to budge from the demands. “This inflexible stance will result in unnecessary losses to the national flag carrier and its customers,” the spokesperson said.
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The powerful body of 430 PIA pilots – Palpa– had resorted to what can be technically called a ‘go-slow’ policy to press their demands. This was at a time when the state-owned carrier is conducting crucial post-hajj operations of bringing back pilgrims from Saudi Arabia, besides running its regular operations.
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This would also lead to more losses to the ailing state-owned carrier. The government claims it had just started recovery after induction of new aircraft in its fleet.
Earlier on Saturday, aviation authorities waited the whole day on Saturday for a meeting with representatives of pilots associated with the national flag carrier – but it did not happen. The Aviation Division blamed Palpa for the deadlock in talks as the gruelling strike lingers on.
“The deadlock is from their side as the Palpa president did not show up for a meeting,” PIA’s Director General Public Affairs Danyal Gilani said while talking to The Express Tribune on Saturday. He added that the Aviation Division had formally sent a letter to Capt Amir Hashmi for a meeting with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Aviation Shujaat Azeem. However, Hashmi did not turn up.
“I am directed by the special assistant to the prime minister on aviation to ask you to attend a meeting at the Aviation Division office Islamabad to discuss/address the Palpa issues with the PIA management at the earliest possible time today, 3rd October,” reads the letter. Gilani claims that only four out of the 110 scheduled flights have been cancelled due to the Palpa strike.