Pakistan: Govt decides to outsource Islamabad airport for 15 years

International

Federal Minister for Aviation and Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique, on Friday said that the government has decided to outsource New Islamabad International Airport for 15 years.

In March Pakistan had kicked off the outsourcing of operations at three major airports and Islamabad airport was the first of these to be affected, as the country seeks to generate foreign exchange reserves for its ailing economy.

Addressing the National Assembly session here, Khawaja Saad Rafique said that it had been unanimously agreed for the outsourcing of operations at Islamabad airport to go ahead in order to improve service delivery in line with best industry practices.

“Islamabad will be Pakistan’s first airport which will be outsourced in first phase,” he said, adding that Jinnah International Airport Karachi and Lahore airport would be outsourced in second phase.

The minister adamantly rejected rumours of downsizing within the aviation department and clarified that no CAA employee will face unemployment due to the restructuring efforts.

The minister once again underscored the pressing need to restructure Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to tackle its staggering deficit which remained at Rs. 80 billion this year.

He warned that if immediate reforms are not adopted, this deficit may escalate further in the coming days which would result in the shutdown of national flag carrier.

Saad Rafique further told the lower house that PIA will resume its flights to the United Kingdom (UK) in next three months.__The Nation