ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Wednesday that the Pakistan International Airlines discontinued its Islamabad-New York flights after it could no longer afford Rs1.2 billion annual operational losses on the route.

During the question and answer session, Minister in charge of the Aviation Division Raja Mohammad Javed Ikhlas said in a written reply that flights to the US had been closed in November last year in line with the aviation industry’s practice.

He said the PIA had been rationalising its route network from time to time, closing loss-making routes and introducing additional flights on viable routes.

He informed the house that over the past five years, PIA closed eight routes — including Pakistan-US-Pakistan, Pakistan-Barcelona-Pakistan, Pakistan-Bradford-Pak­is­tan, Pakistan-Hong Kong-Bangkok-Pakis­tan and Pakistan-Amsterdam-Frankfurt-Pakistan — after incurring heavy losses.

In another reply, the Aviation Division stated that PIA suffered Rs4,538bn losses till Dec 31, 2016. The 2017 accounts will be declared after their finalisation. According to the Aviation Division, some of the reasons for heavy losses were high fuel prices of over $100 per barrel in 2013-14, shortage of aircraft, navigation and other expenses and increase in salary of PIA employees.

The lawmakers disapproved the practice of offering free tickets to PIA staff after denying seats to revenue passengers and closing certain domestic routes. They also criticised the national flag carrier for selling Airbus A310 to a museum in Germany in violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules and PIA’s internal procedures.

Raja Ikhlas did not answer questions concerning accountability of PIA officials involved in sale of A310. “The German CEO, Bernd Hildenbrand, was removed after an inquiry and the Federal Investigation Agency is probing the matter to fix responsibility on other officials involved. A Senate committee has also been investigating to get to the bottom of the issue,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2018

Opinion

Editorial

No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...
Shared goals
Updated 16 Aug, 2022

Shared goals

It is high time that all parties realise that negotiation on the economy does not need to be held hostage to political rivalries.
Making amends?
16 Aug, 2022

Making amends?

WHERE relations with the US are concerned, there has been a distinct shift in Imran Khan’s tone. While the PTI...
Hazardous celebration
16 Aug, 2022

Hazardous celebration

CAN celebratory actions that often result in death or lifelong injuries really be described as such? Be it Eid, New...