KARACHI, Sept 23 (APP): The Managing Director of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Junaid Yunus, has expressed the optimism that the National Flag Carrier would attain break even in a year’s time. He was addressing a news conference at the PIA Head Office here on Monday. Junaid pointed out that the management of the PIA has submitted four options to the relevant authorities for the necessary approval. He said that the management would work in coordination with the employees to stem the losses, streamline the affairs of the airline and to make it a viable entity because it is a national asset.

“ If the PIA has a fleet of 38 to 40 aircraft this will help the airline to stand on its own feet”, the Managing Director remarked.

He said that efforts are also being undertaken towards the fuel saving and pointed out that PIA’s fuel bill is to the extent of 56 per cent of its revenue.

Junaid also referred to the increasing prices of fuel as well as the upward trend of the US dollars.

He maintained that the PIA does not need money and that what it needs is aircraft.

“ This airline has a lot of potential to stand on its own feet”, the MD remarked.

Replying to a question about the losses, he was of the view that the PIA was paying interest to the tune of Rs one billion per month on the loans.Apart from this installments of Exim Bank etc. are also being paid.

Junaid said that the airline is also undertaking cost-cutting measures.

“ Now, we have made airworthy eight aircraft and the credit for this goes to the Engineering Department”, said he adding that the total number of fleet become 29.

To another question, the Managing Director said that the strength of the PIA employees is 16,600 and in addition to this there are daily wagers also and their number is about 2,700.
He said that there would be no retrenchment.In the next five years quite a number of PIA employees would retire from the service and that there would be no induction against the posts thus become vacant.