KARACHI: Joint Action Committee of PIA’s Employees JACPIAE has criticized the management of national flag carrier for suspending flights of its profitable route Frankfurt and India leaving thousands of overseas Pakistanis and local business community in the lurch who will be bound to travel through different carriers on long routes and connecting flights.
Spokesman of JACPIA said thousands of Pakistani will be affected severely from the suspension of PIA flight to and from Frankfurt while once they travel with different airlines the PIA will never be able to attract them even if the suspension is reversed.
The decision of airlines management will prove to be adding insulting into injury as the corporation is terminating its major earning source at times when it needs to revive itself financially, he added.
He said that passengers seat booking volume has been on the rise in last six months as compared to the same period of last year as the number of passengers and revenues of PIA have been increased to more than 50 percent on the route of Islamabad to Frankfurt.
The seat reservations are recorded 100 percent on the Frankfurt to Islamabad based flight, while the passenger demands are beyond the capacity of PIA flights due to limited operations, two flights per week.
The spokesman said that Flights to and from Frankfurt between Jan March 2013 operated with an average seat factor of 83 percent, from April to June with average seat factor of 77 percent, July August with an average seat factor ex-Pakistan 95% and ex-station 70 percent, while last flight ex-Pakistan operated with 100% seat factor whereas on return with 71% seat factor.
An increase in revenue was also witnessed compared to same period of last year Jan-Jul around 60% whereas in terms of pax around 50%.
The high demand on Frankfurt flight is obvious because huge population of Pakistanis, Afghanis and South Asians are living in the Germany with limited options of travelling by air to their homeland.
There are 80,000 Pakistani living in Germany whereas the number of Afghanis and Bangladeshis are around 130,000 and 60,000, respectively, who are residing in Germany. In addition to foreign nationals of different Asian countries, a section of business class passengers travel from Islamabad to Frankfurt from across the country including Karachi and Lahore. The cargo capacity is fully consumed also for trading needs.
Also, a number of passengers based from Pakistan and different regional countries board on flights from Amsterdam to Islamabad and South Asian countries.
Spokesman of JACPIAE warned the management that PIA will lose a profitable destination forever as different airlines such as Etihad Airway and Airblue have sought permission from concerned authorities to commence their operation on the same route.
He demanded PIA management to review its decision of suspending flights from Islamabad to Frankfurt and take decision in the light of commercial benefits of the airlines on the priority basis, and in the largest interest of overseas Pakistanis.