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Thursday, February 15, 2024

PIA gets two A320-200s from Seraph Aviation Group

Seraph Aviation Group, a dedicated aviation asset management firm and financial advisor has announced it has placed two Airbus A320-200's with Pakistan International Airlines.

David Butler, Chief Executive, Seraph Aviation Group said: “We are delighted to have secured a contract for two A320-200s with PIA (Pakistan International Airlines).  This follows a process in which we faced strong competition, but where the combination of technical ability and financial modelling achieved the highest marks. We look forward to delivering both aircraft in the coming months and to commencing a long and positive relationship with Pakistan International Airways.”

Congratulating Seraph Aviation Group for winning a well-contested tender, Air Marshal Arshad Malik, Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan International Airlines said that he is looking forward to a productive long-term partnership between the two companies.  He stated that PIA has an aggressive growth-based strategy in which the renewal and expansion of the fleet is central, along with consolidation on productive routes and expansion on new routes.

Currently, Pakistan International Airlines operates a streamlined fleet, flying only three types of aircraft. According to Planespotters.net, PIA’s fleet consists of: Three ATR 42s, 11 Airbus A320-200s, Six Boeing 777-200ERs, Two Boeing 777-200LRs and Four Boeing 777-300ERs.

The airline had therefore put out a tender to buy eight new planes and received an overwhelming demand from suppliers. The move came in the light of PIA’s plans to modernize its fleet.

The tender saw an overwhelming response, with 128 groups offering to provide the aircraft. While the bidders were not named, it is clear that Seraph Aviation Group was the best out of them all.

The carrier reportedly chose Airbus A320-200s, citing their advanced technology and also because it would provide fleet continuity and lower costs since PIA already operates 11 A320s.

Read More: PIA to dispose off ageing aircraft

It is worth mentioning that PIA CEO Arshad Malik addressed a live session on 8th June during which he revealed that following the instructions issued by the government of Pakistan, the business plan was being prepared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is expected to be completed in three months.

“PIA will induct narrow-body aircraft into its fleet and it is in the process of returning 72 ATR planes, which had been acquired many years ago on the expensive lease,” he said.

Covid19 wreaked havoc across the world and the air passenger travel also took a big hit. The aviation industry was impacted greatly by the spread of coronavirus, with a drastic decrease in the number of in 2020. Over 4.5 billion passengers traveled globally before the pandemic; this number fell to roughly 1.76 billion after the virus began to spread.

“During Covid-19 period, charter revenue of the company increased significantly due to special charter flights operated by the company,” read an annual report released by PIA.

However, PIA is now ready to bounce back as it has expressed to make a full-fledged return to the skies. The national carrier has expressed hope that a boost to its flight operations would help turn around its financial performance.