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New aircraft to be inducted in PIA, Senate is told

- File Photo

ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Defence Sardar Saleem Haider Khan informed the Senate on Tuesday that the Board of Directors of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has approved a fleet replacement plan.

Under this plan, new aircraft would be inducted into the fleet in order to make the national flag carrier a profitable organisation, he said.

Replying to various questions, he said that the plan was formulated for the replacement of aging fleet of B747, B737-300 and A310 and to cater to the existing and future capacity deficit.

He said that the old aircraft consumed more fuel as compared to new ones and majority of PIA’s budget was being spent on fuel. Salaries of the employees were only 18 per cent of total budget of the airlines, he added.

To a question he said that the prime minister was the final authority to approve the plan.

He informed the Senate that PIA has also signed an agreement with M/s Boeing Company for purchase of five Boeing 777-300 ER jets on February 14 and these aircraft would be delivered in 2015.

The minister added that it was also decided to induct nine Boeing aircraft on dry lease to improve its efficiency and to conduct Hajj operation 2012 in an efficient and orderly manner.

To a question, Salim Haider replied that all essential and mandatory equipments were installed in PIA fleet for operation on existing network. However, B747s were not equipped with sophisticated navigation system and were unable to comply with the arrival/departure procedures at Dubai and European destinations.

To another question, the minister replied that Shaheen Air International and AirBlue, private sector airlines, were currently operating their flights on domestic and international routes.

He said that a total of 753 officers and 1837 officials have been appointed in PIA since 2008 and there was complete ban on new recruitment at present.

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