Despite Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suffering substantial monthly losses of Rs12 billion and accumulating a total loss exceeding Rs740 billion, the airline has declared its intention to grant its employees an increment bonus in recognition of their “good” performance.
PIA’s management justified the bonus as a gesture of appreciation for the positive financial results achieved by its employees from April to September in the current year. The increment bonus is set to be implemented starting from October 1, 2023. The specific bonus amount will be determined based on a bonus scale issued in 2022.
The increment, according to PIA’s statement, will range from 5% to 10% of the salary as of March 31, 2023. Notably, employees who have already submitted their resignation notice on or before October 2023 will not be eligible for this bonus. Additionally, recently hired employees, those who received a promotion or a salary increase between April 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, are also excluded from this increment. Furthermore, employees currently facing disciplinary actions will not qualify for the bonus.
The decision to award bonuses has raised eyebrows, especially considering PIA’s ongoing struggles to maintain operations due to frequent fuel shortages. The airline’s monthly income stands at Rs22 billion, while its expenses reach up to Rs34 billion. This has resulted in PIA accruing a total loss of Rs740 billion.
PIA has borrowed Rs260 billion from commercial banks under government guarantees. Additionally, the airline has not paid Rs1.25 billion in taxes to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and has been unable to meet monthly payments of over Rs1 billion to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Caretaker Federal Minister for Privatisation, Fawad Hasan Fawad, has disclosed that out of the 34 aircraft in PIA’s fleet, 15 are grounded, and some of them are not fully operational. In light of these financial challenges and operational limitations, the decision to grant employee bonuses has drawn criticism and raised questions about the airline’s financial management.