ISLAMABAD, APR 02 (DNA) – The National Assembly was informed on Friday that there is no plan to privatize any of the assets of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan told the house during question hour today that the present government is very keen to make the national flag carrier self-reliant and profitable entity.

Efforts are underway to improve the financial health of the airline by reducing its losses through various means. He said loss making routes have been closed and flights on profitable routes have been added which has resulted in reduction of losses.

Responding to a question, the Aviation Minister said eighty two pilots were dismissed for acquiring the licenses through unfair means. He said a transparent mechanism has now been evolved to ensure the issuance of licenses in a transparent manner.

An agreement to this effect has also been signed with the UK Civil Aviation Authority. He said the International Civil Aviation Authority will carry out an audit of our Civil Aviation Authority in July this year. He was confident this will lead to removal of travel restrictions on the PIA in the European countries and that the airline will regain its past glory.

The Minister for Aviation said Quetta and Dera Ismail Khan Airports will be upgraded and that eight new planes will be inducted in the fleet of PIA to further improve its performance.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken the initiative of ‘Live Call Program’ to directly connect with the people and listen to their problems.

 He said this step of the Prime Minister should be appreciated. He said the Prime Minister is expected to again interact with the people via telephone next week. The House has now been adjourned to meet again on Monday at four pm. = DNA