Flight operations of PIA have been severely affected due to non-availability of aircraft. On Friday, some 35 flights were affected due to shortage of planes. PIA was forced to cancel 25 flights, while 10 flights were delayed from 2 to 19 hours.
According to sources at PIA, the airline returned 5 aircraft to their original owners. These aircraft were on wet leased by PIA for a temporary period of time so that it could carry out its operations smoothly. Aircraft were leased from Sir Lanka and Turkey, complete with its own cockpit and cabin crew. After returning them, PIA has been left with only 35 planes out of which some are undergoing routine maintenance.
Sources blame the government for not taking matters pertaining to the national carrier seriously. There is no full time management to make a long term business plan and implement it. Currently PIA’s day-to-day affairs are being run by its acting Chief Executive and that other chief officers have also not being appointed.
PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar told ProPakistani that the airline is likely to obtain new aircraft and that the process for getting them on lease has already been started.
‘PIA will add 5 to 6 aircraft in its fleet. These aircraft will start arriving from July next month. They will be taken on dry lease (without cockpit and cabin crew).’
Sources also confirm that PIA is also planning to lease some wide body aircraft on wet lease for Hajj operations and that this deal is likely to be finalized during June.