LAHORE: The Pakistan International Airlines has reduced 26 foreign and domestic flights after four planes were repatriated following expiry of their wet lease.

The national flag carrier has reduced seven flights on Dubai route, one each on Manchester, Barcelona, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Dhaka, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait and the rest on domestic routes to cope with its operations with a fleet of 25 aircraft.

Anticipating the situation, the PIA had floated tenders for acquiring 10 or so planes on dry lease, but its deal with a Qatar-based leasing company could not materialise.

The PIA has been trying hard to acquire up to 15 planes to keep its existing routes and restore the old ones.

“Reducing the number of flights is not good for the national flag carrier which is already in a financial mess. The PIA management should not have let this situation occur and it would reflect bad on its reputation,” said a source.

“We have reduced 26 flights on foreign and domestic routes after repatriation of four planes the PIA had acquired in December last year on wet lease – two each from Turkish and Czech Republic airlines,” PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar told Dawn.

Mr Tajwar said: “We will get three planes on dry lease next month. Similarly, we are going to have four planes on wet lease and its tender will open on June 9.”

The airline was also in the process of acquiring 10 more aircraft on dry lease, he added.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2014

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