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No COVID-19 Bailout from Govt as PIA Trying to Overcome Grave Financial Challenges Through Own Resources: Arshad Malik

-- The PIA's CEO joins Facebook Live to face tough questions asked by consumers

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KARACHI– Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik gave a live appearance on the airline’s official Facebook page to answer queries regarding PIA on Tuesday afternoon. He affirmed to contact the passengers directly through live sessions which from now onwards will be regular issue.

Taking a lot of tough questions, CEO PIA spoke about the initiatives taken by the present management under his leadership keeping in view the legacy constraints, the airline’s weaknesses that were and are being converted to strengths to become a self-sufficient organization as desired by the government under the stewardship of Minister of Aviation.

Talking about burning issues of Saudi Arab tickets before the expiry of Iqamas of a number of citizens and resumption of flights to Europe & UK, CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that right after commencement of flights PIA applied for additional flights from KSA authorities and despite early hiccups and patronage of the government was successful to operate 91 flights till date accommodating 26,000 guests on Pakistan to Saudi Arabia sectors.

He said we are talking to the Saudi government through diplomatic channels to get the visa validity extended to relieve the pressure and panic. Speaking on the ban, he said PIA has just underwent IATA’s Operational Safety Audit after which collectively with the regulator we are planning to approach the European Authority to get the suspension lifted earlier than expected. Meanwhile PIA will continue to run its operations to these territories through alternative channels including chartering and through code share partners.

He also expressed concerns regarding the Covid pandemic and its negative affect on many airlines resulting in cash flow problems and subsequent lay-offs and financial support granted to them by their respective governments. PIA, unlike all other players, has not been given any financial bailout from the Government of Pakistan and is trying to cope up with the grave financial challenges through its own resources.

He also announced that PIA will be launching new central Asian destinations such as Bishkek and Baku to cater for the high demand of Pakistani students in these localities.

Towards, the end of the session CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik said that there are many challenges ahead and with the support of Pakistanis we will face those challenges for the benefit of our nation and will make everyone proud.— PRESS RELEASE