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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

PIA to acquire eight new airplanes to ‘modernize’ the fleet

The PIA is set to acquire eight new 'narrow-bodied' aircraft for its fleet, in order to replace old aircraft and modernize the airline

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to add eight new narrow-bodied airplanes to its fleet with a capacity of 170-plus.

The aircraft will be all-economy with a soft divider after two rows and has been acquired on dry-lease.

They’re expected to be delivered during the next year.

PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan said that the PIA is seeking to improve itself and modernize its fleet.

Bids are expected to be placed by different parties by the 11th of January next year, the aircraft then will be acquired by dry lease. This means that the airline will only acquire the aircraft but not any staff.

The new planes will be replacing some existing planes in the fleet, and the plan had been in the works for the past two years.

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The plan had been however delayed due to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

As per the PIA’s website, the airline has 37 aircraft, seven of which are Boeing 777s, nine Airbus-320’s and 21 ATRs. According to PIA’s Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik, the 12 new aircraft will be added to the fleet latest by 2023, and the induction would increase the fleet’s employed aircraft’s number to 45.

The PIA’s revival attempt

The incumbent government had been seeking ways to revive the airline. Arshad Malik has back in July lauded the efforts by Prime Minister Imran Khan to reorganize the national airline.

Malik’s remarks had come during a meeting on the reformations and reconstitution of PIA. Then the “financial discipline” of the company and the efficient usage of assets had come up for discussion.

Read more: PIA: Little known causes of downfall and the way forward

At the meeting, the prime minister had expressed that “special attention” needed to be paid to reduce the airline’s expenses, increase its revenue and financial resources, and upgrade its aircraft.

“Special attention should also be paid to the best use of domestic and foreign assets owned by PIA through a clean and completely transparent procedure so that these assets do not become a further burden on the people,” he had said.

GVS News Desk