PIA’s financial crisis, national airline fleet feared to shrink to 15 planes

ISLAMABAD (INP): Amid worsening financial condition, Pakistan International Airline (PIA) fleet was feared to be reduced to 15 operational planes if it fails to get an immediate and immense financial assistance from the government. Out of PIA’s 35 planes fleet, 15 are grounded at present of which nine planes including two Boeing, four A320 and three ATR have been acquired on lease.
On the other handed, keeping in view of Pakistan’s poor economic situation, the leasing company has also requested to return five of its aircrafts and it has already taken back two of the leased engines resultantly two of the PIA aircrafts were grounded.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), meeting also failed to take any decision regarding extending financial assistance to the national airline.
According to research of the Independent News Pakistan (INP), the fleet of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) includes a total of 35 aircrafts, which include 12 Boeing 777, 17 Airbus 320 and six ATR of which two Boeing 777 aircrafts, 11 Airbus 320 and three ATR aircrafts have acquired on lease.
In PIA’s fleet of 35 aircraft, 20 aircraft are operational and the remaining 15 aircraft are grounded.
The grounded aircrafts included five Boeing 777, six Airbus 320 and four ATR aircrafts.
Despite being on lease, two Boeing 777 planes, six Airbus 320 planes are grounded while two planes are present in Jakarta due to the lack of agreement with the leasing company.
Out of the four grounded ATR aircraft, three ATR 72 planes are on lease, out of which PIA wants to repair two aircraft and hand them over to Pakistan Navy. The registration number of PIA ground Boeing 777 aircraft is AP-BGL, AP-BHX, AP-BID, AP-BMS and AP-BHW of which two of planes with registration numbers AP-BMS and AP-BHX on lease.
The registration number of ground Airbus 320 of PIA is AP-BLA, AP-BLT, AP-BLW, AP-BOL, AP-BLY and AP-BLZ. The planes parked at Jakarta due to dispute with lease company have registration number AP-BLY and AP-BLZ. Four grounded ATR’s registration numbers include AP-BHM, AP-BKX, AP-BKY and AP-BKZ.
Among them, one aircraft with registration number AP-BHM is owned by PIA, the other three are on lease and PIA wants to repair them and give them to Pakistan Navy.
It has happened that one of their engines was taken on lease, which the leasing company demanded back after observing the poor economic conditions of Pakistan, due to which two personal planes of PIA were grounded and both engines were returned to them.
Meanwhile, the leasing company in the backdrop of Pakistan’s poor economic condition, has demanded back five more of its planes. If PIA returns these five ships, the number of operational ships in PIA’s fleet will be reduced to 15. Therefore, Pakistan International Airlines needs urgent government support to continue its operations.
However, during meeting with the Prime Minister, he forwarded the matter to ECC to look into it. The ECC instead of approving financial assistance to PIA has formed a special committee.
The national airline urgently needs a huge sum of money to repair its planes and pay for ground services, but the government is hesitant in this regard due to the prevailing economic crisis.
On the other hand, due to Pakistan’s global triple C rating, the leasing companies also want to take back their planes and it has already taken back two leased engines of the aircraft. The PIA spokesperson was also contacted to get his stance in this regard, but he did not reply.