Karachi: Pakistan International Airlines Chairman Nasser NS Jaffer set a new precedent on Monday, becoming the first head of the often-criticised national carrier to board a flight as last passenger who got the worst seat in the last row.
Jaffer was travelling to Karachi from Lahore on PK-305 after attending the high-profile inauguration of Multan Airport when he chose to wait for all the passengers to get on board and then preferred to sit in last row, on seat 33C, said the airline crew.
“He spoke with people around him and asked them how they feel about traveling with PIA,” said an airline official. “Obviously the crew was trying its best to please him.” While the PIA chairman was satisfied with the overall service of the airline, he did not like the meal, said the official.
Jaffer, a leading businessman who also heads his family-controlled Jaffer Group of Companies, has a habit of observing the service delivery aspects of the airline himself. Employees say he often goes to the airport early in the morning to mingle with passengers or just to see how the airline staff at check-in counters behave.
The government had a tough time convincing him to join the airline, which has suffered from multiple controversies in the past. PIA has one of the most bloated staffs in the world. With 18,338 employees, PIA has an employee-aircraft ratio of 690, compared to a global average of around 150 employees per aircraft.