KARACHI: On September 13, 2023, The flight operation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was severely affected due to a shortage of active fleet. The airline’s top official revealed that the airline’s operation is at the edge of closure due to cash flow problems.
A few weeks earlier the airline’s bank accounts were seized by the Federal Board of Revenue due to non-payment of due taxes. This left thousands of employees ended up not being paid. The half of airline’s fleet is grounded due to the unavailability of spares and engines. The list of grounded fleet is as follows;
- ATR-42 Registration AP-BHM
- ATR-72 Registration AP-BKV
- ATR-72 Registration AP-BKZ
- Airbus A320 Registration AP-BLA
- Airbus A320 Registration AP-BLV
- Airbus A320 Registration AP-BLW
- Boeing 777-200ER Registration AP-BGL
- Boeing 777-300ER Registration AP-BID
- Boeing 777-300ER Registration AP-BHW
- Boeing 777-200ER Registration AP-BHX
The airline is currently seeking a bailout from the interim government to ensure a smooth flow of operation. However, the interim government has refused to bail out the airline this time. This means if the cash injection is not secured from any other source the airline might need to halt its operation.
PIA is currently seeking a bailout of Rs 22.9 billion from the government which was rejected by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). The committee also rejected the deferred payments of Rs 1.3 billion per month to FBR and Rs 0.7 billion to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority in airport embarking charges. (The News reported)
Aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus had also announced earlier this month that no spare parts will be released any further until the payments are cleared. With no support from the government and no other sources of cash infusion, there are going to be challenging days ahead for PIA.