ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 7 August while hearing a suomotu case on Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) high airfare on Islamabad-Gilgit-Baltistan (GB)sector, directed the national flag carrier to lower its rates to the tourist destination.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nasir took suomotu notice of the matter last month.
He was heading a three-judge bench hearing the case alongside Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice IjazulAhsan.
In April, GB lawmakers expressed concern over a sudden Rs. 5, 500increase in the one-way fare from Islamabad to Skardu, bringing the one way fare to Rs14, 000.
They noted that PIA had a monopoly over the route and was charging more than a one-way flight from Islamabad to Karachi and were afraid that the fare hike would adversely impact tourism industry in GB, the main stay of the people of GB.
The CJP asked PIA Chief Executive Officer Musharraf Rasool Cyan’s lawyer, Naeem Bukhari, what the airfare from Islamabad to GB was.
Bukhari responded to the CJP’s question with details for the fare for a round-trip from Islamabad to Sukkur instead, which he said amounted to Rs26, 000.
“The fare for a round-trip from Islamabad to GB is almost Rs.30, 000,” the CJP told the lawyer. “From here (Islamabad) to GB is a half-hour journey,” the top judge said. “Do not mistreat the people in this manner.”
Justice IjazulAhsan subsequently directed PIA to lower its fares for Islamabad-GB flights.
“Lower the rates,” Justice Ahsan said.