Committee achieves Rs1bn saving in 1st session

Karachi: Secretary Aviation and Acting Chairman PIA Muhammad Ali Gardezi has ordered immediate implementation of measures identified by “way forward committee” during its first session, saving of more than Rs 1 billion is expected through the measures undertaken in first session of four days.

The committee comprising Capt. Sohail Baloch as Team Leader, Secretary First Officer Syed Chakar Ali Shah, Aircraft Engineer Syed Zakir Farooq Deputy secretary, Flight Purser Noor Laghari, Asst. Mgr. Anwar Hussain and senior Technician Obaidullah as members, conducting first marathon session with the management last week with DMD Engineering Qasim Masood leading the session, identified and recommended measures that needed only issuance of directives.

The Way Forward committee WFC team presented the same to Secretary Aviation, Chairman PIAC who appreciated the committee on crossing Rs1billion mark of savings in 4 working days in only phase 1 of fly smart program. He appreciated the efforts of committee and assured support in reviving the airline taking it out of financial turmoil.

The Chairman asked the committee to undertake some out of the box solution to reduce expenses in operations without compromising safety.

Chairman PIAC Muhammad Ali Gardezi gave immediately approved 14 out of 2 proposals submitted by the committee and ordered information on remaining proposals. He emphasized on co-branding, improvement in website and its mobile applications. He further ordered committee to explore cost effective options for wi-fi in airplane to reduce electricity and other utilities and immediate implementation of flight watch programme in phase 2.

The Secretary WFC F/O Chakar Ali Shah mentioned the outstanding support of incumbent MD Capt Junaid Younus specially in expediting the implementation of FLY Smart Program.

Earlier, the implementation meeting, chaired by DMD Engineering and attended by director engineering, director HR & C Director Customer services Director P&L G.M IT Principal PTC, was presented with the implementation plan and requirement of different cost saving measures approved by the Chairman.

The measures included different adjustments which require only slight procedural changes without compromising safety and involving huge approval processes. As a start-up the committee has managed to put all three stakeholders i.e. Civil Aviation, Air Force and PIA on negotiation table to deliberate and finalise changes to ensure direct commercial routes between different destinations in the country. This will not only benefit PIA and other private airlines to save fuel during domestic flights but will also help local and foreign carriers flying in and out of country.

Secondly, 3 senior ATR First officers’ transition directly to Airbus A31 has been undertaken allowing bypassing narrow body Boeing 737, the process is posed to save 1.3 Million USD.

In addition the simulator training sessions out of the country have been readjusted to efficiently use the instructor and simulator to optimize the performance while giving more exposure to pilots on aircraft under watch of senior instructors within the country. This will reduce airline’s expense in foreign exchange as simulation of ATR and Boeing 737 are undertaken in Far East and European countries. The immediate restructuring of these sessions are expected to save above Rs 8 million.

The committee also ordered a revised Taxi uplift fuel on all aircraft which envisions an approximate savings of more than Rs 32 Million a year. The plan also includes a power up procedure after takeoff at level of 1 ft as per international standards on non mountainous regions like Karachi, Lahore, etc as against normal procedure of above 3ft which will give better engine performance and fuel consumption in take off sequences.

The single engine taxi after landing was already incorporated in procedures now the committee has suggested taxi out for takeoff also on single engine, necessary procedural updates, SOPs and trainings have been ordered by the management and the impact of fuel saving is being calculated on this measure.

Besides these measures the committee has also implemented transition from paper based management to paperless environment in PIA. As a starter printed payslips for employees above group 5 has been replaced by electronic payslip, as well as casual leaves and passage facilities are also being converted into electronic forms based application, an estimated Rs 3 million saving is targeted with change in pay slips only. Similarly huge pilferage of medicines was witnessed previously, now the pay slips will carry the medical facility usage detail.

The committee has also identified huge spares inventory of aircraft which are not in PIA service anymore and immediate measure of sell off for 48 million Dollar Inventory spare parts of B7472,A3 b/4 dc1 Fokker b 77 has been ordered under DMD Engineering Comprising of Director P&L ,CFO, Director Engineering and Team Leader WFC.

The committee has also identified and instructed updating the IPC Inserted Parts Catalog, which will ensure reducing the chances of buying parts on expensive price. The IPC provides 34 option of spares available worldwide giving flexibility for quality purchases with cost effectiveness.

The crew slip at different intermediate destinations has also been revised and the crew will be allowed to travel up to their base where possible reducing the hotel, transportation expense etc.

The revamping of in-flight manuals for cabin crew into a quick efficient check list has been ordered which will save time spent on huge manuals and reduce weight on aircraft.

Similarly a redesigning of Snacks Service on all 1 hour cruise domestic & regional flights with immediate effect will save Rs 54 million while the customers will have an upgraded meal service from the one in practice, while the committee is undertaking a study to improve meals on all PIA flights. The redesigning of meal service will allow PIA to take off maximum weight from the aircraft in shape of removal of trolleys etc.

The committee is also auditing the ground support equipment for efficient service provision to the aircraft and reducing the turnaround time. There were numerous complaints regarding non functional equipment on which huge amount was spent by the airline but they were not brought in service. One such case on which an inquiry has been ordered is of 7 ground electric vans which were brought in on wrong specs, in initial run one van actually burnt as it was not designed to work in hot and humid weather.

The committee is undertaking a stringent audit of oil consumption to reduce fuel expense, it was mentioned by one of the members that even with only half the fleet in service the airline’s fuel bill had not come down.

The committee has also decided to undertake a strict audit of all agreements regarding hotel and transport at all PIA domestic and international destinations, agreement with Sabre on different solutions which were to be provided etc are also on agenda for next session on Way Forward Committee.

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