KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif plans to sell off a 26 percent stake in ailing national carrier PIA and hand over management control to stem haemorrhaging losses.
Pakistan International Airlines is one of the poorest performing state-run companies and businessmen welcomed the decision announced late on Thursday.
Sharif, who has made repairing the weak economy his priority, ordered PIA to slash losses to make it viable for sale. The company has incurred heavy losses because of poor management, corruption and inefficiencies. It lost $320m last year but the deficit would have been much larger if the state had not been pouring money to keep it afloat.
The airline has 18,000 employees for 42 planes, a ratio of more than 400 staff per aircraft, a PIA spokesman said.
“The government is committed to reforming and restructuring all ailing state enterprises, including PIA,” Sharif said.
Pakistan sold its state-run telecom company in mid-2000 by transferring 26 percent of its shares and management control. The government offloaded another 10 percent of PTC shares later on. Agencies