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Saudi Arabia warns PIA of halting flights over unpaid dues

Updated April 16, 2014

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— File photo
— File photo

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) warned the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) of halting all flights in case unpaid dues were not cleared by the national airliner by April 17, DawnNews reported.

Sources said Saudi Arabia's civil aviation authority has issued several notices to the PIA in the past as well but this appears to be the final warning.

In case the dues are not paid by April 17, provision of parking and other facilities to the national flag carrier could be suspended, sources further said.

The PIA is in a restructuring phase after the government announced in September last year that 26 per cent of its shares would be privatised. Disinvestment of the airline, the government believes, is the only way of saving it from total extinction.

The company is losing Rs87m every day which is equivalent to $305 million a year and its accumulated losses have spiked to Rs180bn.

The government has already injected Rs11.75bn as equity this year and plans to invest another Rs4.25bn to keep it flying.

One-third of its present fleet of 34 planes remains grounded because of overage or want of repairs.