Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) cancels a massive number of flights around 349 in the last two weeks. PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez Khan said that it canceled flights due to a shortage of fuel and highlighted the cash bleeding PIA is facing.
Abdullah further said the flights were being scheduled as per the availability of fuel. He clarified that the fuel crisis affected the normal operation of PIA for the last two weeks. But the flights were being rescheduled on a daily basis.
Why PIA is facing a fuel shortage problem?
National flag carrier PIA and PSO (Pakistan State Oil) have locked horns over fuel supply owing to a payment dispute. The conflict between PSO and PIA intensified last Sunday, Oct 22, 2023. PIA has recently faced a major fuel shortage problem which is affecting its flight operations.
The PIA-PSO conflict began after the decision of the caretaker government to privatize the national airline. It has accumulated billions of dollars in losses and liabilities.
PIA accuses PSO of suspending its credit line for fuel supply and PSO is supplying fuel only against daily advance payment. While the airline is trying to manage funds because the usual rescheduling of flights would depend on the availability of funds.
According to Abdullah, PIA had to forcefully cancel 70 flights out of its 81 scheduled domestic and international flights due to the non-availability of fuel.
PIA spokesperson Abdullah said the flight operations were suspended due to non-payment on Sunday. The airline paid 220 million rupees on Saturday while PSO has refused the claim of PIA and said it supplied fuel to 24 flights from Saturday onward.
PIA has made a payment of 220 million rupees for flights scheduled on Sunday and Monday. The remaining amount for fuel to be supplied to PIA flights will be provided according to their agreement.
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