ISLAMABAD, FEB 22 (DNA) – Air Marshal Arshad Malik, Chief Executive Officer, PIA visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry along with his team and signed an MoU with Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President ICCI to offer a 10 per cent discount to ICCI members and their immediate families on domestic and international flights.
Addressing the business community Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that PIA was now focusing on corporate customers for business generation and signing of MoU with ICCI was part of such efforts. He said that with the improvement in airline’s financials, PIA would consider offering up to a 25 per cent discount to ICCI members. He said that the business community should facilitate PIA in improving its cargo business.
He said that PIA was ready to dedicate aircrafts for cargo flights if private sector supported it with more business volume. He said that PIA needed an advisory board with representation of chambers in it. He said that PIA would soon start direct flight to Baku from Lahore and to Uzbekistan from March this year.
Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that PIA was a very challenging organization, but he was determined to address its challenges. He said that PIA in the past was not given commercial sense, but now with the efforts of his professional team, PIA has been put back on track. He said that unfortunately Covid-19 has badly hit the aviation industry.
He said that the outlook of PIA would be changed and old aircraft would be swapped with better quality and competitive aircrafts. He said that PIA HQ was not being shifted, rather there was a shift in its business model as 70 percent commercial activity was now biased towards north and south regions due to which PIA was focusing on these regions for business promotion. He said that regulator should facilitate airlines. He said that a consultancy team has arrived Pakistan to prepare a business plan for PIA that would come out within 8 weeks.
Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) appreciated the initiatives of Air Marshal Arshad Khan for bringing crucial reforms in PIA to revive its old glory. He said that airlines played an important role in business and economic development of a country, therefore, improving the performance of PIA was vital to promote Pakistan’s trade and exports to international markets.
He said that many areas of Pakistan including AJK and Northern Areas have great potential for tourism and said that PIA should start flights to Rawalakot, Muzaffarabad, GB and other destinations to promote tourism. He thanked CEO PIA for offering discount to ICCI members and hoped that it would be helpful in exploring new markets for promoting business interests of Pakistan.
Mian Akram Farid Chairman Founder Group said that Air Marshal Arshad Malik has shown tremendous performance in Pakistan Air Force and hoped that he would turn around the sinking airline.
He said that PIA should give frequent travellers more incentives. He said that Pakistan should be connected through air links with more countries that would help in promoting Pakistan’s trade and exports. He assured that business community would fully cooperate in promoting PIA’s branding.
By signing the MoU, PIA has agreed to offer discount to ICCI members and their immediate family members on Economy & Economy Plus on its flights for international and domestic sectors.
The discount would be offered on request from ICCI secretariat letterhead with production of valid ICCI Membership Card by the Members. Both sides also agreed to form a Coordinating Committee comprising of representatives of both organizations that will work to promote PIA and ICCI business interests, will meet once in a month to further enhance the business relations and will work in coordination for addressing operational issues.
ICCI will display PIA branding material at prominent places in its premises while PIA will provide ICCI with branding material for promotion of PIA services. ICCI will extend support for promotion of PIA products and services from all its platforms including electronic, print and social media. ICCI members will declare PIA as Official Travel Partner and PIA will be preferred travel airline for all their visits on both international and domestic sectors.=DNA