Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is teetering on the brink of collapse, as a high-ranking official from the national flag carrier has issued a warning that unless emergency funding is promptly provided, flight operations could come to a halt by September 15, as reported by Geo News.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) – News details
In an interview with Geo News on Wednesday, a senior director within the national flag carrier disclosed that the operational fleet had dwindled from 23 planes to just 16, resulting in the cancellation of numerous flights. The official further noted that aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus had ceased supplying spare parts to PIA due to outstanding payments, causing the national airline to incur daily losses in the millions of rupees due to restricted flight operations.
Additionally, the official revealed that one PIA aircraft was detained at Dammam Airport, with four others facing a similar situation at Dubai Airport due to unpaid fuel bills. These planes were permitted to depart upon the written assurance of PIA. Moreover, it was mentioned that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had reinstated PIA services following an emergency payment of $3.5 million.
The official’s stark warning emphasized that flight operations might grind to a halt by September 15 unless emergency funds totaling Rs23 billion are promptly provided.
Concurrently, a PIA spokesperson issued a statement assuring that exhaustive efforts were being exerted to prevent the operations suspension. Meanwhile, a severe funding shortage had severely impacted PIA’s flight operations, leading to the cancellation of domestic and international flights. These sources noted that PIA had urgently requested financial support from the government and mentioned that PIA employees had not received their salaries.
On September 7, PIA announced the grounding of five of its 13 leased aircraft, with the possibility of grounding four more due to the ongoing financial crisis. PIA had sought an emergency bailout of Rs22.9 billion, a request that was rejected by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). The ECC also turned down requests to defer monthly payments of Rs1.3 billion to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for Federal Excise Duty (FED) and Rs0.7 billion to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for embarking charges. Furthermore, PIA had cautioned that Boeing and Airbus might halt spare parts supplies by mid-September. In the previous month, the FBR had frozen 13 PIA bank accounts due to an unpaid Rs8 billion in FED.
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