The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) incurred a loss of Rs280 million after suspension of its flight operation to and from the European Union (EU) states, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar informed the National Assembly on Wednesday. Notably, as the EU suspended flight operations, Pakistan was expecting to face a huge financial loss.
In a written reply, he said the national flag carrier’s receipts from its flight operation in the EU bloc fell to Rs1.41 billion from Rs1.69 billion in July-August 2020.
However, the minister said the airline raked in a sum of Rs520 million from its Pakistan-UK flights during this period. He said it hired the services of Malta Company for flights between the two countries besides operating four roundtrip charter flights during coronavirus lockdowns.
The PIA raked in Rs5.81 billion revenue as against expenditure to the tune of Rs5.31 billion, he added.
Sarwar said the Pakistan International Airlines also resumed flights to Canada, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia.
In July, the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) had suspended the authorization for the PIA to operate in the bloc for six months. “EASA has temporarily suspended PIA’s authorization to operate to the EU member states for a period of 6 months effective July 1, 2020, with the right to appeal against this decision,” a Pakistan International Airlines statement had said.
Unions and lobbies: How can PIA be reformed?
Notably, PIA has multiple unions and associations which are often found blackmailing senior management on one issue or the other. Arshad Malik, and his team, had taken on the unions head-on and removed hundreds of PIA employees who were holding fake degrees. Under his management, in the last one year, PIA has increased its revenues by 41%. National Airlines is under debts of more than Rs. 400 billion and no business entity is prepared to invest in PIA. Airline also finds it difficult to raise finances from the market. And when it succeeds as it recently did through Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Dubai it has to pay a much higher markup.
12 plane crash incidents: Make all plane crash reports public
As the EU suspended flight operations, Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that the government had announced Rs1 million compensation for the families of those who were killed in the PIA plane crash.
He said that 12 plane crash incidents have happened till yet since the creation of Pakistan, adding that all investigation reports on the plane crash will be made public and to be present before parliament.
Read More: PIA PK 8303: The cost of incompetency
“Government will present the initial investigation report of PIA plane crash before parliament on June 22,” said the minister. The aircraft with 99 passengers and crew members on board had crashed while trying to make an emergency landing at Karachi airport. Only two people survived the tragic incident.