PIA resolves matters with FBR, but faces ongoing financial challenges

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Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) claims to have settled all outstanding issues with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The FBR had frozen PIA’s accounts due to non-payment of taxes amounting to billions of rupees. The situation had become critical, with Pakistan State Oil (PSO) also ceasing fuel supply to PIA, resulting in the cancellation of several flights.

Last year, PIA faced a similar situation when 53 of its accounts were frozen for failing to pay taxes amounting to more than two billion rupees spanning several months. The accounts were eventually restored after the airline management assured prompt payment of dues.

While the recent issues with FBR have been resolved, PIA is not out of the woods yet. According to Khawaja Saad Rafiq, failure to restructure the airline may lead to its closure within one and a half years. Additionally, PIA has received a remand from the Riyadh Airport Authority (RAA) demanding payment of 8.2 million Saudi Riyals (approximately 60.65 million Pakistani Rupees) for overdue dues. The remand also includes a warning regarding outstanding dues at Jeddah Airport.

Despite settling matters with FBR, PIA continues to grapple with financial challenges, highlighting the urgency of restructuring and resolving payment issues to ensure the airline’s long-term survival.