14 more aircraft being added to PIA fleet: minister

Updated September 17, 2019

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The PTI-led government has committed to increasing the number of planes in the national carrier’s fleet by 14 until 2023, it was announced on Monday. — Wikimedia Commons/File
The PTI-led government has committed to increasing the number of planes in the national carrier’s fleet by 14 until 2023, it was announced on Monday. — Wikimedia Commons/File

TAXILA: The PTI-led government has committed to increasing the number of planes in the national carrier’s fleet by 14 until 2023, it was announced on Monday.

“We have developed a business plan for PIA, approved by the prime minister, under which we are going to increase PIA’s fleet from the current 31 to 45 aircraft,” Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan told the media. Ammar Sadeeq Khan, member of the Punjab Assembly, was also present.

The aircraft will be purchased instead of being obtained on dry or wet lease, the minister said. A dry lease is a long-term arrangement under which an aircraft is provided without a crew, maintenance and insurance to an airline on payment to be made on a monthly or yearly basis. A wet lease is a short-term arrangement under which a company provides an aircraft along with a crew, maintenance and insurance and the payment made is calculated on the hours operated.

Sarwar says instead of taking planes on dry or wet lease, they will be purchased

Mr Sarwar said currently PIA is operating 31 planes on national and international routes and its fleet would be increased phase-wise to 45 planes.

He said under this upgrade strategy, two Airbuses would be added to PIA this year while four planes, including two ATRs which were grounded due to technical reasons, would be made operational.

“These plans were made functional by the PIA utilising its own resources. No grant was taken from the government,” the minister said.

He said due to good governance and wise decisions, the revenue of PIA increased by 45 per cent.

About the recently concluded Haj and its flights, he said the Haj flight operation was successfully completed by the national aircraft carrier with its own fleet.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2019