Update: After intense deliberation, PIA has cracked a deal with PSO due to which flight operations are slowly restarting. The delay in reaching an agreement caused the cancellation of more than 19 flights and delayed more than 20 others.
According to the deal, PIA is to pay Rs.100 million to the PSO on a daily basis. Flight operations have resumed since then.
Previously, the feud between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) continues while the passengers bear the brunt.
Flight operations were adversely affected with 14 flights being cancelled and four others being delayed due to a halt in the supply of fuel to the airline, over the issue of non-payment of dues.
The domestic cancelled flights were from Islamabad to Gilgit, one from Islamabad to Quetta, one from Karachi to Sukkur, one from Islamabad to Multan and one from Karachi to Faisalabad.
Pk 304 from Karachi to Lahore, Pk308 from Karachi to Islamabad and Pk 309 from Islamabad to Karachi were delayed due to fuel unavailability. Pk 305 from Lahore to Karachi was delayed after its delayed arrival in Lahore.
Hundreds of people, including passengers and flight crew, are facing inconvenience in the face of these partial suspension and delays in flight operations.
To mitigate the severe issues of PIA’s flight operations, the Airline company has already requested the Aviation Division in a letter to arrange for them a loan of over Rs 7.5 billion from banks to keep itself afloat. The letter further states that fuel supply in Jeddah and Dubai was halted due to PSO’s refusal of fuel supply. This letter has been sent by the General Manager Funds Management to the Deputy Director Division and is now directed to the Ministry of Finance, urging them to intervene.
Interestingly, no bank has shown any interest in providing loan to the loss-making national flag carrier.
Earlier, in the mid of September, caretaker PM Anwarul Haq Kakar had aimed to sell-off the airline but the Interim Minister of Finance Dr. Shamshad Akhtar had said that the Government would support PIA to keep it in the skies. This was followed by the Caretaker Privatization Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad announcing later on that the government would not ground the PIA. He claimed to have already worked out a plan in a press conference.
On the contrary, a plan is currently lying on his table as shared by the PIA which involves a debt restructuring program (which has reached 260 billion), blocking tax payment to the FBR and not paying fees and charges of the Civil Aviation Authority but does not address the mammoth of issues in administrative affairs.
Dr. Shamshad has vowed to support the airline as the government has 92% stakes in it implying the saga of PIA going downhill seems to linger on for it has also announced bonuses of 915 million for its employees amidst all of this.
Read more on this: https://thecurrent.pk/loss-making-pia-announced-bonuses-for-employees-on-their-good-performance/