Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan has expressed hope that restrictions on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights by certain European countries will be lifted during this year.
The minister said this on the floor of the Upper House of the Parliament during the question hour on Friday.
Replying to a question regarding restriction on PIA flights by certain European countries, the minister said all their observations made by the European countries have already been addressed and their audit team would visit Pakistan in November. He was optimistic that the restriction would be lifted within this year. Talking about the financial health of the national flag carrier, he said that the incumbent government inherited huge financial losses of PIA but managed to reduce it drastically from Rs67.32 billion to Rs34.64 billion during the last three years.
The minister said the PIA financial losses were Rs67.32 billion in 2018, which were reduced to Rs52.60 billion in 2019 and Rs34.64 billion in 2020. He said various commercially unviable routes, both domestic and international, were closed to curtail the losses.
To another question, he said that Hyderabad airport is operational and can handle aircraft up to ATR-42.
According to the PIA financial results for half year ended June 30, 2021, the airline once again failed to achieve a turnaround in its earnings as the air carrier recorded a loss of Rs25 billion. However, the loss was 31.5% lower compared to the loss of Rs36.5 billion recorded in the same period of last year, revealed a notice sent by PIA Corporation to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).
The national airline’s net revenue almost halved to Rs27.6 billion in January-June 2021 against Rs51.5 billion in the same period of last year.