KARACHI: The two Boe­ing 737-800 aircraft obtained by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on wet lease from a Turkish operator earlier this week were put into operation on Friday.

No other airline in Pakis­tan is currently using this aircraft.

Talking to Dawn, PIA spokesperson Danyal Gilani said the aircraft had been obtained for a period of three months and two more similar aircraft were expected to join the airline’s fleet in the coming weeks.

He added that the decision to acquire these aircraft was taken to meet the immediate shortage of aircraft, which was created due to the grounding of four aged A-310 aircraft at the end of last year.

According to Mr Gilani, the narrow-body aircraft has a capacity of carrying 189 passengers in all-economy configuration.

He said the two aircraft were scheduled to operate six flights on Friday — PK-316, PK-317, PK-306, PK-307, PK-380 and PK-319.

According to sources, getting aircraft on wet lease is an expensive option and shows how the financially crippled airline is planning to spend the new bailout package announced by the government on Thursday.

PIA had already obtained an expensive wet lease aircraft from a Sri Lankan airline a few months ago to operate the Premier Service, which was running in huge losses, the sources said.

Published in Dawn January 21st, 2017

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