Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan has announced that Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has suffered a loss worth billions of rupees.
Sarwar said that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has incurred losses of up to Rs. 4 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic and fears that the losses might reach Rs. 6 billion by the end of March.
The national carrier brought 8,824 Umrah pilgrims back from Saudi Arabia in 27 special flights,” he said, adding: “PIA brought 40 passengers from Doha and 100 from UAE.
“Pakistan is already facing a severe economic crunch,” he said, regretting that PIA’s loss was an addition to an already burdened national treasury.
He further stated that globally the aviation industry has experienced a setback as well. The virus has had a negative effect on the most stable economies in the world. On March 5, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade group, projected a possible hit to worldwide revenues of up to $113 billion this year.
The minister said that Pakistan is already passing through difficult economic conditions, but this virus has multiplied its economic hardships. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had incurred a loss of Rs. 600 million during the time period of 1-15th March, which is expected to grow further.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced to suspend its international flight operations from March 22 till March 28.
Airlines around the world are choosing to ground flights rather than fly empty aircraft as the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect the skies, with some airlines being bound by a government mandate to stay grounded.
Travel bans and airspace closures have also contributed to the temporary suspensions of over 50 airlines, ranging from global national carriers to small regional airlines.