PIA to Acquire New Planes for International Routes Next Year

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is looking to induct more wide-body aircraft into its fleet in a bid to increase the number of flights on its international routes.

Speaking in this regard, Abdullah Hafeez Khan, spokesperson for PIA, said that the national flag carrier will try to procure three wide-body jets during Q1 of 2023 and a tender in this regard will be floated in the coming weeks.

Previously, different reports had claimed that Pakistan’s national flag carrier is eying Airbus A-330 and Boeing 787 aircraft. However, the reports did not specify the variants PIA will acquire.

Currently, PIA’s fleet for international flight operations is dominated by Boeing jets. It has 13 Boeing jets and all of them are aged between 14 and 18 years old. Out of the 13 Boeing planes, six are 777-200 ER, five 777-300 ER, and two 700-200 LR.

PIA frequently used Boeing 777s for flights to the UK and Europe till the ban on the national flag carrier by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2020.

The ban was imposed after the PIA plane crash in Karachi and a subsequent statement by the then Federal Aviation Minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, claiming that around 40% of PIA possessed fake licenses.

Currently, the two 700-200 LRs are being operated on the Toronto route. The incumbent Aviation Minister has ordered the PIA to overhaul the cabins of these jets.

Last month, PIA inducted the second Airbus A-320 plane into its fleet. It is the second A-320 aircraft inducted by the PIA this year. This jet has been acquired on a dry lease of six years.

PIA had originally floated a tender for the acquisition of four A-320s last year to provide its customers with the latest travel facilities. The first A-320 jet was inducted earlier this year in April.

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