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KARACHI: The Pakis­tan Inter­national Airlines (PIA) has added another grounded aircraft to its fleet after making it operational with its own resources.

A PIA spokesperson said on Wednesday A-320 aircraft had been grounded for more than 13 months. Earlier, a Boeing 777 aircraft had been made operational, he added.

The A-320 aircraft — registration AP-BLV — was grounded in May last year and it was made operational on the directive of the PIA’s chief executive Air Marshal Arshad Malik.

The spokesperson said a test flight was carried out successfully on Tuesday and now the aircraft would be doing scheduled sorties. The revived A320 and Boeing 777 aircraft would be utilised for Haj operation, he added.

“The PIA didn’t go for acquisition of aircraft on wet lease as per previous practice despite an increased number of pilgrims to more than 80,000 this year. It will definitely go in significant cost savings for the airline,” he said.

The PIA had earlier requested the government for financial support for reviving the grounded aircraft which did not materialise, he said, adding that despite its financial constraints the airline utilising its own resources managed to revive the two aircraft.

The PIA chief had congratulated engineering, flight operations, finance and supply chain divisions for making the two aircraft operational, the spokesperson said.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2019