As the financial crisis at the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) reaches a critical point, the administration of the national flag carrier in a desperate move is contemplating partial suspension of both domestic and international flights, according to sources.
The sources revealed that PIA has already started working on a backup plan – ‘Plan B’ – which involves reducing flight operations by 15 to 25 percent.
Following the decision by the caretaker government to privatise PIA rather than provide financial assistance, the national carrier has been left with no choice but to reduce operational expenses.
It has been reported that PIA requires Rs33 billion in order to meet mandatory payments to both domestic and foreign institutions, including employee salaries. However, with funds not forthcoming from the Ministry of Finance, PIA has resorted to approaching commercial banks for loans.
Due to the non-disbursement of funds, PIA management has begun working on ‘Plan B’, which involves the partial suspension of flight operations and the cessation of unprofitable routes.
The proposed plan will see a gradual reduction in domestic flights, followed by limitations on international flights. Popular routes, such as Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Gilgit, and Skardu, are expected to have their flight availability restricted in the first phase.