The financially struggling Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL) has incurred a loss of Rs. 38 billion due to the grounding of its aircraft.
According to the Auditor General Pakistan Report, during the audit of PIACL Engineering Department for the year 2021, it was noted that two B-777 aircraft, two A-320A aircraft, and one ATR72 remained grounded due to temporary grounding and scheduled maintenance.
In line with the Maintenance Plan, the management had initially allocated an estimated time of 19 to 28 days for temporary grounding and scheduled maintenance, but these timelines were not adhered to.
Section 184.108.40.206 of the Engineering and Maintenance Manual stipulates that PIA Engineering and Maintenance must adhere to minimum maintenance requirements and ensure that all maintenance is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s documentation/instructions.
The audit found that management’s lack of diligence resulted in the extended grounding of aircraft for up to 905 days, causing financial losses to PIACL and disrupting operational continuity. This matter was reported to the management and discussed in the DAC meeting.
The management attributed the delays to reduced operations, financial constraints, and the need for parts on the operational fleet, leading to increased cannibalization from aircraft undergoing heavy maintenance.
DAC directed the management to provide relevant documents to the Audit, demonstrating their efforts and justifications for the prolonged delay. However, no records were provided by the management until the finalization of this report. Audit recommends the implementation of DAC’s directives.
Recently, the Caretaker Federal Minister for Privatization, Fawad Hasan Fawad, informed the World Bank country head that the government’s top priority is to privatize PIA.