ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Secretariat Raja Javed Ikhlas Monday informed the National Assembly that flight operations of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to the United States would be suspended from January 2018 to stem financial losses.
Responding to a Calling Attention Notice of PPP MNA Naveed Qamar, he said PIA’s flight routes to United States would be temporarily suspended as these were non profitable, causing loss of Rs one billion every year.
He said since 2013, the government took various measures to improve the performance of PIA and increased the number of airplanes in its fleet from 18 to 38.
He said presently 14500 employees were working for PIA and this huge number could even handle a fleet of 125 planes.
He said many routes of PIA had seat occupancy rate of only 60-65 percent and PIA was facing competition from foreign airlines which caused suspension of flight to destinations like United States.
He told that the losses of PIA had reached to a level of Rs 200 billion and in the interest of public, the government was forced to close loss making routes.
However, he said flights to Toronto and some other European nations, which were bringing revenue would continue.
Deflecting criticism of PPP MNA Shazia Marri about leasing of planes on wet lease for PIA, the Parliamentary Secretary said PIA got 20 planes on dry lease and only four planes on wet lease to take passengers to Saudi Arabia. – APP