Passengers Sigh of Relief: PALPA Pilots Call off Strike, Flights to Resume
Pakistan Airlines Pilot Association (Palpa) announced on Wednesday an unconditional end to their strike against Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), media reported.
The decision came after Senate Standing committee accepted to become a guarantor in the negotiations between the pilots’ association and the management of PIA.
“Palpa has decided to put an end to their strike and its leaders will make a public announcement in this regard,” Senator Talha Mehmood, who chaired the committee meeting told media men in Islamabad.
Adhering to the Senate Standing Committee’s requested to end the strike on an immediate basis, Palpa asked the committee to help resolve the ongoing crisis.
During the standing committee’s cabinet secretariat meeting with Palpa leaders and PIA’s management, both sides expressed their reservations and put forward their demands which were discussed at length.
Further, the committee was informed that at least two attempts were made to resolve the issue, however, nothing significant had come out.
On Monday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had decided to step in to help resolve the gruelling row between the pilots and the management of PIA, which has badly affected the flight operations of the national flag carrier. Nawaz Sharif’s decision came hours after the PIA management had said that it would not accept any ‘illegitimate’ demands of the Palpa, asking the pilots to pursue negotiations without any preconditions.
“The three demands by Palpa are unacceptable,” a PIA spokesperson had said. The demands include the immediate replacement of director flight operations, withdrawal of show-cause notices and inquiries against pilots (while reinstating all grounded pilots), and for seniority to be determined by the pilots.
Palpa pilots had been on a go-slow policy for the last week which resulted in cancellation of around at least 88 flights and re-routing of dozens of other flights, affecting thousands of passengers of the national flag carrier. Some pilots report sickness at the eleventh hour and unfit to fly an aircraft.
The state-owned PIA has a fleet of 41 aircraft which include Boeing 777, Airbus A320 and ATR, and 436 active pilots.
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