Thursday, December 7, 2023

Pakistan to Privatize Loss-Making Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan has announced that it plans to sell its struggling national airline, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This decision is in line with Pakistan’s larger strategy to also privatize its airport operations under the IMF deal.

The choice to privatize PIA was made during a meeting led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. The committee decided to include Pakistan International Airlines Co. Ltd in the list of projects to be privatized. This was possible after a change in the law by the Parliament.

Additionally, the committee approved the selection of a financial adviser to help with the transaction involving Roosevelt Hotel in New York, which is owned by PIA Investment Limited.

Pakistan aims to restart PIA flights to the United Kingdom within three months. These flights were stopped due to a pilot license scandal. Flights to Europe and the UK were halted in 2020 after the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency revoked PIA’s permission to operate in the region, all because of the pilot license issue.

The decision to sell PIA, a government-owned company facing major losses and debts, is part of Pakistan’s commitment to following good financial practices as outlined in its agreement with the IMF. Pakistan got a $3 billion bailout package from the IMF in June, and these steps are being taken to meet the conditions of that agreement.

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