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PIA Faces Operational Challenges as Nine Aircraft Grounded Due to Spare Parts Shortage

ISLAMABAD: The prolonged delay in the privatization of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has created a significant strain on the operational dynamics of the national carrier, with reports indicating that nine aircraft are currently grounded.

Among the fleet of 31 planes, nine aircraft, including five Airbus-320, three Boeing-777, and one ATR craft, are out of service due to the unavailability of essential spare parts.

This development raises concerns about the immediate future of the national airline, which heavily relies on the support of the State Bank of Pakistan. Adding to the challenges, leasing companies are expressing reservations, citing Pakistan’s CCC rating in relation to business policies.

PIA

Operational difficulties extend beyond PIA, affecting the other two airlines, which are grappling with negative ratings and a shortage of foreign exchange reserves. PIA itself has outstanding payments exceeding $10 million in international transactions, further complicating its financial situation.

Sources also indicate that leasing and spare parts companies are imposing a risk exposure premium on payments, exacerbating the financial burden on the beleaguered airline.

In response to the escalating crisis, on January 10, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar directed relevant authorities to expedite the privatization process of PIA.

Emphasizing the importance of transparency in the privatization procedure, PM Kakar reiterated that the government’s top priority is to privatize state-owned enterprises, aiming to protect the national exchequer from enduring further financial losses.

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