RAWALPINDI: More than 500 flights were cancelled by Pakistan Inter­national Airlines in the past 13 days as it faces its worst-ever crisis after the Pakistan State Oil cut fuel supply over unpaid dues.

Since Oct 14, the airline has cancelled 528 flights, a PIA spokesperson confirmed on Friday. He stressed that the airline has been making advance payments to PSO for fuel.

In the past three days, over 160 domestic and international flights could not take off, while only 84 departed to their destination after the availability of fuel. The aircraft that are operating are also carrying fewer passengers than the capacity.

PSO has refused to allow any credit line or relaxation to PIA, forcing the airline’s management to scale back the operations and only schedule flights for which it has fuel arrangements.

The airline has identified Canada, Turkiye, China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia as priority destinations.

Talking to Dawn, PIA’s Senior Staff Association General Secretary Safdar Anjum blamed the present management for failing to manage the crisis.

He said privatisation was not the solution to PIA’s existing problems and urged the government to form an independent board of directors.

Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2023

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