PIA CEO Arshad Malik addressed a live session on Tuesday during which he revealed that following the instructions issued by the government of Pakistan, 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 expensive lease,” he said.
Malik was also asked a question about the in-flight entertainment to which he replied that PIA would slowly replace its aircraft with newer versions equipped with up-to-date entertainment systems.
Talking about the airline’s plans to operate on new routes and resumption of commercial flights to Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK and Canada, Malik said that flights on the Gulf and Saudi Arabian routes were temporarily suspended due to the Covid-19 restrictions imposed on airlines by these countries.
He also explained that the airline was in talks with UK authorities to review the suspension of flights to the European nation. British government still followed EU rules, which had been applied before Brexit deal was inked, he said.
Restrictions are based on the audit of airline’s regulator – the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan – and not PIA as the airline had secured safety certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is valid till 2023, he revealed.
Malik further said that PIA was still operating flights to domestic destinations for the national cause though they are not commercially viable at the moment. “The airline is working hard to provide easy access from such cities to the rest of Pakistan and the world”, he added.
PIA’s CEO said that the management of the airline is working to enhance the training standards and facilities at the PIA Training Centre.
Currently, the flying academy remains closed because PIA doesn’t have sufficient funds to run it, he said while responding to a question.