KARACHI: On September 10, 2023, Pakistan International Airlines, or PIA published several job opportunities on its social media handles and website. The airline has been struggling with a shortage of staff since 2021 as many pilots and cabin crew have left the airline due to its deteriorating work environment and politically influenced culture.

The airline announced the positions for captains for their ATR-42/72 fleet, cabin crew for multiple fleets, and IT professionals. The airline has announced hiring after almost 6 years as the local courts had halted the hiring for the airline.

PIA cabin crew job opportunity

The opening of positions in the national airline of Pakistan was welcomed by aspiring candidates, however, the procedure to apply for the jobs was unbelievable and the netizens are calling out the airline for the bizarre procedure.

The Procedure:

The airline posted the job ads on their website with complete procedures well explained on them. In the era of the digital age where applying for a job is absolutely free among the world’s top airlines, PIA wants you to follow their bizarre guidelines to apply for their job openings.

The airline asked the aspiring candidates to;

  • Fill out a complete application form. (This is required for every job in the world of course).
  • Applicants must provide copies of their educational documents from high school to university, work experience letters in advance with 6 passport-size photos, and a copy of their passport. (Fairly acceptable)
  • Applicants are required to pay an application processing fee of 3000 PKR for pilots and 2000 PKR for cabin crew, Approximately 10 $ to be paid directly to the airline’s bank account with the proof of payment should be attached to the application form. (What? I need to pay you first before I get paid by you?)
  • All of the above should be sent in a hardcopy through a reputable courier service which will charge another 500 to 1000 PKR. (Seriously? In this digital age, where all top organizations wish to minimize paper use but PIA needs the job applications in hard copies, that too must be sent via courier)
Pakistan International Airlines job ad cutting.

Did PIA ever come out of the 1960s?

Pakistan International Airlines was known for its great service from the mid-1960s until the 1980s. However, since the mid-1990s the airline started to deteriorate and it affected its financial performance since then. Local avgeeks and many ex-PIA employees always believed that the airline still has the potential to bring back the glorious days of the airline from the 1960s.

Well, the glorious days may or may not come back, but one thing is for sure, The procedure to apply for recent job openings is surely from the 1960s. The airline asking for PKR 3000 sounds more like a scammer trying to scam people with the promise to get them hired.

Imagine if only a thousand applicants send their application for cabin crew with a payment of 2000 PKR. This gives the airline an easy revenue of 2 million PKR without even selling any service.

Why applications can’t be taken online?

In 2023, the airlines are opening up to accept payments with cryptocurrencies, adapting the blockchain & web3 technologies to further enhance their dependability on digital assets, PIA is still living in the 1960s when the applicants should be sending their job applications via mail.

PIA has invested a lot in building its digital assets. In recent years PIA upgraded its internet booking engine, loyalty program website, payment gateways, adding ancillaries to the booking, and much more. Yet, they never thought of building a career portal where it would take just a few clicks to share all these WITHOUT asking for money from the applicants.

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Why this amount should be paid?

In Pakistan, for all jobs posted by any government entity, applicants are required to pay some amount directly to that entity’s bank account and must attach proof of payment with the application. This is an obsolete procedure however it might be applicable for some government entities but it should not be the case when it comes to applying for an airline company.

Pakistan International Airlines is so far directly owned by the government of Pakistan. The cabinet’s aviation division directly supervises the airline along with the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority and Safety Investigation Board.

All over the world, the national flag carriers are either privately owned or owned by a government investment company. For example, Emirates Airlines is officially owned by Emirates Group which is an official investment of Dubai Investment Corporation which is an official government investment company.

A similar model can be adopted for Pakistan International Airlines, only if the government of Pakistan seriously invests in the restructuring of the airline rather than just burning tax payer’s money every year.

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