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PIA Temporarily Grounds Some Planes, Spokesperson Affirms


LAHORE MIRROR – Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has confirmed the temporary grounding of some of its planes, with the assurance that they will return to service upon settlement of outstanding payments.

The airline recently faced financial difficulties, leading to the grounding of several planes as it sought funds to sustain operations in the coming months.

The Ministry of Aviation issued a stern warning to the federal government, highlighting PIA’s severe cash flow crisis, resulting in arrears with various creditors, including aircraft lessors, fuel suppliers, insurers, and airport operators both domestically and internationally, including the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

As a result, PIA had to ground five of its 13 leased aircraft, with the potential for four more to face a similar fate, according to the ministry.

Additionally, the Ministry of Aviation disclosed that Boeing and Airbus were considering discontinuing the supply of spare parts by mid-September.

In response, the ministry requested an immediate cash injection of Rs23 billion and the suspension of duties, taxes, and service charges to domestic agencies.

However, this request was made without the presentation of a concrete and viable business plan.

The Ministry of Aviation emphasized that PIA’s restructuring, expected to take around eight months, must allow the airline to remain operational throughout the process for the divestment of its shares to yield a fair value.

PIA’s spokesperson, Abdullah Khan, stated that the airline had temporarily grounded some leased planes due to blocked funds since December 2022, foreign exchange conversion challenges, and outstanding payments related to leases, airport handling fees, and component support programs.

Regarding reports of a potential collapse and flight operation suspension by September 15, Khan clarified that while the situation was challenging, PIA was not on the brink of closure and assured that flights would continue.