Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Due to Insufficient Funds, PIA Grounds 11 Planes

In a recent development, Pakistan’s national airline has grounded 11 aircraft leading to a downsizing of its fleet. Among the grounded planes are three Boeing 777s, underscoring Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) ongoing financial challenges, which have been exacerbated by the devaluation of the national currency and the continuous rise in petroleum prices.

The primary cause for grounding these planes is the airline’s inability to procure necessary spare parts, attributed to prolonged resource shortages. PIA, a state-owned entity, has faced a persistent lack of financial backing.

This situation is a culmination of past actions, with two of the three wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft grounded in 2020, and the last one following suit in 2021. Additionally, five A320 aircraft and three ATR aircraft have been taken out of operation— one each in 2020, 2022, and 2023.

A spokesperson from PIA confirmed that these 11 aircraft have been grounded due to a dearth of funds for acquiring crucial spare parts. The airline’s financial predicament is serious, stemming from its reliance on foreign currency, which has gained value in recent times.

At present, PIA is operating with a reduced fleet of 20 aircraft, making efforts to maintain flight operations with the resources at hand. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that a heightened flight schedule might result in an aircraft shortage, which could potentially impact the smooth functioning of operations.

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