September 6, 2017 / 10:22 AM / in 3 months

Pakistan's loss-making national carrier appoints new CEO

KARACHI, Pakistan, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Loss-making Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Wednesday named Musharraf Rasool Cyan as its new chief executive, entrusting him with turning around the national carrier’s fortunes after a turbulent year.

Cyan, who PIA described as a ‘professional technocrat’, will face an uphill task in returning the airline to profitability and improving the carrier’s reputation which was dented by a plane crash in December and allegations of financial mismanagement.

“(Cyan) brings with him a vast experience of more than 26 years in public sector management, service reforms, project planning and economic development programs,” PIA said in a statement on Wednesday.

Cyan’s appointment follows the removal of the carrier’s German chief executive Bernd Hildenbrand, who was ousted in April after authorities launched a corruption investigation into leasing of planes from a Sri Lankan carrier.

In an interview with Reuters in March, Hildenbrand said PIA was losing about 3.1 billion rupees ($30 million) per month, while Gulf-based rivals such as Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines were eating into its market share.

PIA’s chairman Azam Saigol also resigned in December, less than a week after a PIA plane crash that killed all 47 people on board which raised concerns about the carrier’s safety record.

PIA said Cyan is the first chief executive officer after the carrier’s conversion into a public limited company in December 2016. (Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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