Pakistani airline cancels over 50 flights amid fuel supply crisis

PIA reportedly grounded several aircraft as it struggled for the funds it needed to maintain operations for the next few months


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Published: Wed 18 Oct 2023, 11:51 AM

Last updated: Mon 23 Oct 2023, 10:01 AM

The Pakistan Inter­na­tional Airlines (PIA) has cancelled over 50 flights since Tuesday, following restrictions on daily fuel supply due to non-payment of dues, according to local media reports.

At least 24 domestic and international flights were cancelled and 12 others were delayed on Tuesday. The Pakistani national carrier has also cancelled over two dozen flights, including 16 international and 13 domestic, scheduled for Wednesday and delayed several others, the Dawn reported.

Limited daily fuel supply for PIA planes and other operational reasons led to the cancellation of flights, the English daily quoted a PIA spokesperson as saying. The departure of some flights had to be rescheduled for the same reason, the carrier added.

Besides domestic operations, the now-cancelled international departures included flights to Dubai, Mus­cat, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait. The national carrier said passengers who were affected by the cancellation were accommodated on alternative flights.

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The PIA has also requested passengers to contact its call centre, offices, or their own travel agents before heading to the airport.

On Tuesday, following the cancellation of several flights, a PIA spokesperson said the management and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) were negotiating until late Monday night to break the logjam and streamline flight operations again, the Dawn said.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has already instructed authorities to expedite the process to privatise PIA, which has been facing a financial crisis for a long time now.

In September, PM Kakar asked Privatisation Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad to look into the process. The instructions came during a meeting where matters related to the cash-strapped national carrier were discussed. At the same meeting, the prime minister added that the issues needed to be tackled to provide a reliable service to users and raise the standard of the national carrier.

According to a report in Dawn, PIA has grounded several aircraft as it continues to struggle for funds needed to maintain its operations for the next few months.


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