Pakistan: 77 flights cancelled as PIA’s crisis spirals amid ‘reported’ fuel supply halt


KARACHI: Financial crunch-triggered crisis of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aggravated on Sunday, affecting the flight operations adversely as 77 flights were cancelled due to the ‘reported’ halt of fuel supply by Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

According to the spokesperson for the national-flag-carrier, 52 international and 29 domestic flights were scheduled for Sunday, of which only 4 flights could depart.

The spokesperson confirmed that flight operations were ‘completely suspended’ due to suspension of the fuel supply to the airline and a total of 77 flights were cancelled.

The media reports said that the PIA’s financial crises had intensified as Pakistan State Oil (PSO), according to a PIA spokesperson, stopped fuel supply despite ‘securing the payments.’

It added that the PIA administration was in constant touch with the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) as payments could not be made due to bank closure on Sunday.

“The national carrier has paid over Rs220 million to the PSO for the weekend,” the spokesperson said, noting that the scheduled evening flights will operate as soon as today’s credit line is available while alternative connections are being provided to passengers of the affected flights.

Meanwhile, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) – in a statement – rebuffed claims of fuel supply suspension to national carrier and said that it had provided fuel for almost 64 flights since Friday night.

“On Friday evening, PIA paid Rs220 million for fuel for Saturday and Sunday,” the corporation said, adding that a list of 39 flights for fuel supply was also provided by the airline.

According to the corporation, fuel was being provided as per priority flights list provided by PIA. “PIA’s payout limit for Saturday and Sunday is still pending”, it said, noting that the carrier was not providing flight schedules for the remaining amount.

“Fuel worth Rs60 million is still available as the national carrier can still acquire it,” the corporation clarified.

Due to cancellation and delay of PIA flights, hundreds of passengers have been facing inconvenience for past several days. They were not only the travelers, but flight crew was also facing inconvenience due to delay in flights departures.

It is pertinent to mention here that Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar had already directed authorities concerned to expedite the privatization process of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Domestic flights cancelled

As many as 25 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) domestic flights were cancelled on Sunday as the airline’s financial crisis aggravated.

As many as 16 flights of the airline heading to different destinations from Karachi could not take off.

Similarly, Islamabad-Karachi flights, PK 300, PK 308, PK 340, PK 301 and PK 369 also had to be cancelled. Two Lahore-Karachi flights PK 303 and PK 307 failed to take off either.

Likewise, three flights, heading from Karachi to Lahore, PK 302, PK 304 and PK 306 which were to leave today also had to be cancelled.

Moreover, six flights of the national flag carrier from Karachi to Gwadar, Bahawalpur and Faisalabad and vice versa had to be cancelled as well.

One flight from Sialkot to Muscat and another from Muscat to Sialkot could not depart either. Four flights heading from Lahore and Islamabad to Quetta and vice versa were cancelled too.

Similarly, two PIA flights from Islamabad to Jeddah and vice versa and one flight PK 288 which was to leave Doha for Islamabad was also cancelled.__Pakistan Today