Chief commercial officer of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Bilal Munir Sheikh has resigned from his post. “Appointed in the tenure of Musharraf Rasool, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of PIA, Bilal has tendered his resignation stating personal reason,” said spokesperson of the airlines. The incumbent government on October 12, appointed Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood Malik as the chairman of PIA. This was done after the Supreme Court (SC) declared the appointment of Musharraf Rasool Cyan as the CEO of PIA as null and void. A bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, gave this ruling on a petition challenging the appointment of the national flag carrier’s head. The court in its judgment said that Mr Cyan was appointed to the post in violation of the relevant rules and regulations. Besides, a committee to appoint the PIA CEO was not set up as per the procedure. Pakistan International Airlines is facing financial crunch and despite several bailout packages. As per Federal Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry “PIA is in a debt of Rs 406 billion.” He added that the new chairman of the national carrier had been directed to ‘immediately fix the institution’s economic condition.’ The Auditor General of Pakistan on October 2, submitted his report about PIA’s audit carried out on the orders of the apex court. “The Pakistan International Airlines has been run like a non-business entity, governed by an unprofessional Board of Directors managed by a chief executive office (CEO) lacking industry specific experience,” says a special audit report on the 10-year performance of the national flag carrier. The special audit was conducted from the month of July to September. It revealed that the accumulated loss as of December 31, 2008 was Rs 72.353 billion (bn) which had increased to Rs 360.117 billion (bn) by December 17, 2017. Published in Daily Times, November 9th 2018.