Pakistan International Airlines has started partial suspension of its domestic and international flights amid the ongoing financial crisis, The Express Tribune reported on Saturday.
According to the Pakistani daily, the PIA has started working on a replacement plan – ‘Plan B’ – which involves reducing flight operations by 15 to 25 percent.
Earlier, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar Fawad asked Hasan Fawad, a member of his interim cabinet, to expedite the privatization process of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), ARY News reported on Thursday.
He chaired a meeting to review the process of PIA privatization in Islamabad on Thursday and urged the concerned stakeholders to expedite the process keeping in mind the rising standards of the national airline as per international standards.
Kakar directed all relevant stakeholders to find an immediate solution to the issues related to the privatization process.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister was briefed on the progress of the privatization process of the PIA. He also welcomed new Acting Privatization Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad to his team.
On September 14, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) canceled several domestic and international flights amid a major financial crisis, ARY News reported.
Scheduled flights to/from Karachi airport were canceled after national airline Pakistan State Oil (PSO) failed to pay for fuel supplies.
The Pakistan-based media outlet reported that the canceled flights included Karachi-Turbat, Karachi-Gwadar, Karachi-Quetta, Karachi-Sukkur and Karachi-Multan.
Previously, the PIA had grounded five of its 13 leased aircraft, with the prospect of grounding four more planes in lieu of fuel deliveries amid the financial crisis and duties.
The PIA requested an emergency bailout of 22.9 billion Pakistani Rupees (PKR), which was then rejected by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).
The ECC also rejected PIA’s request to defer payments of Rs 1.3 billion per month that the national carrier pays to FBR against FED and Rs 0.7 billion per month that it pays against the rising charges , Geo News reported.
In addition, the PIA also warned that Boeing and Airbus may stop supplying spare parts by mid-September.
According to ARY News, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) froze the national airline’s account in July due to non-payment of taxes amounting to more than Rs 2 billion.
In January last year, the FBR froze 53 bank accounts of the PIA after it was found to have defaulted on tax payments worth Rs26 billion.
However, these bank accounts were restored after PIA assured them of early payment of taxes.
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