KARACHI:Dr Musharraf Rasool Cyan, who was appointed as chief executive officer of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ironically by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has formally joined the national carrier, according to an announcement made on Tuesday.
“He is the first CEO after PIAC’s conversion into a public limited company in December 2016,” a press statement from the airlines said.
The position for a full-time CEO had been vacant for a while with stop-gap arrangements being made sporadically.
Chief Financial Officer Nayyar Hayat remained the acting CEO since April 2017 when the national carrier sacked Bernd Hildenbrand, a German national, on charges of corruption.
The statement added Dr Cyan, who is a former bureaucrat and holds a PhD in economics from Georgia State University, brings with him an experience of more than 26 years in public sector management, service reforms, project planning and economic development programs.
“A professional technocrat with experience of working in various capacities with government of Pakistan,” it said. His doctoral studies in economics focused on pricing, consumer behavior, taxation, investment in public assets, quantitative methods and analytical tools for efficiency and effectiveness. Prior to his PhD, he did his masters in development management from University College London.
He stood first in the nationwide competitive exam for Civil Service of Pakistan and received prestigious gold medals in management courses in the Civil Service Academy. He has also been trained in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle University, Florida, USA, the statement added.
Besides, he has experience in implementation of public sector programs in Pakistan. From 2002 to 2005, he led implementation of decentralisation reforms program, financed by the Asian Development Bank.
Prior to working with ADB, he worked in senior public sector management positions in Pakistan.
One of the foremost jobs for Dr Cyan would be to kickstart the revival process of an ailing airline. PIA’s loss in the nine-month period (January-September) of 2016 amounted to over Rs27 billion compared to a little over Rs19 billion in the comparative period of the previous year. The airline is yet to release financial accounts of the ongoing year.
PML-N, which came into power in 2013, has also from time to time stressed on restructuring loss-making state-owned entities. PIA’s privatisation was also among the government’s plans before massive protests that turned violent resulted in the authorities making a tactical retreat from its endeavour.