Khan steps in to aid PIA

A new executive chairman has taken over at Pakistan International Airlines as the state-owned carrier struggles financially and tries to cope with a partial European Union ban on its operations.

Zaffar Ahmad Khan took over in early April as new chairman, replacing Tariq Kirmani, who resigned suddenly late in March. The chairman's role is the top executive position at PIA, which does not have a separate chief executive officer or managing director.

A mechanical engineer by training, Khan spent 35 years working for multinational companies in Pakistan and abroad, including in Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA. He started his career in 1969 with Esso Pakistan Fertilizer, which later became Exxon Chemical and then Engro Chemical Pakistan following the first employee-led buyout in Pakistan's corporate history. He retired from Engro Pakistan in January 2004 when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 58, after having served for more than six years as its president and chief executive.

Khan took over at PIA several weeks after the European Union banned the airline from operating to European destinations with aircraft other than its new Boeing 777s, which forced it to suspend services to several cities. The destinations it has been forced to cut for now are Amsterdam, Athens, Glasgow and Rome.

PIA has also been suffering financially as its costs have been increasing.

Source: Airline Business