Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has canceled 349 flights in the last two weeks due to shortage of fuel, it said on Thursday, underscoring the difficulties faced by the cash-bleeding national flag carrier. 

The flight cancellations since Oct 14 have affected both domestic and international routes, a PIA spokesperson said.

Flights are being rescheduled on a daily basis, the company said in a statement, without giving details on how long the crisis would last. “The flights are being scheduled as per the availability of fuel,” it said.

PIA and the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) have been locked in a dispute over payments. The airline says PSO has suspended its credit line for the fuel and is now releasing supplies only against a daily advance payment.

“The PIA is trying to manage funds,” the statement said, adding the resumption of the usual schedule would depend on the availability of funds. It said Canada, Turkey, China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia would be priority destinations when flights resumed and it would keep passengers updated on flight schedules. PIA flights to Europe and the UK have been suspended since 2020 after the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency revoked the national carrier’s authorisation to fly to the bloc following the pilot license scandal.

On the other hand, PSO confirmed receiving Rs70m on Thursday from PIA to fuel eight flights, including six international and two domestic flights. PIA makes advance payments to PSO for fueling flights.


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2023-10-27

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