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Wednesday, February 28, 2024  
17 Shaban 1445  

PIA set to run more flights after credit line extended

PSO extended the credit facility by Rs500 million

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said on Monday it should be able to run more flights in the coming days as the state oil company extended a credit facility, allowing it to fund fuel purchases.

Since Oct 15, as many as 349 PIA’s domestic and international flights have been cancelled because of disruption to fuel supplies.

“The PIA’s disrupted operations are heading toward restoration after an improved fuel supply,” the airline said in a statement, adding that it has scheduled 45 flights for Monday.

“The flight operations are expected to come back to normal routine in next few days with more improvement in the fuel supply,” the airline said.

The airline has accumulated billions of dollars in losses and liabilities, which the caretaker government says it can no longer fund, and has been in dispute with the Pakistan State Oil company (PSO) over payments.

In a statement on Monday, the PSO said that “to further support the national carrier” it had extended the credit facility by Rs500 million ($1.82 million). It added the PIA’s outstanding balance to the PSO was Rs26.8 billion ($97.37 million).

The PSO had earlier this month suspended the credit facility, and the PIA had been paying Rs100 million against daily purchase of fuel.

Pakistan said in August it would privatise the airline as part of a fiscal discipline plan agreed under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.

The airline has long been in the crisis.

PIA flights to Europe and the UK have been suspended since 2020 after the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency revoked the national carrier’s authorisation to fly to the bloc following a scandal over pilot licences.

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