ISLAMABAD: According to a report the Pakistani government is planning a massive aid package to the debt-ridden flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) which would include new loan guarantees, a debt freeze, and an immediate cash injection.
The measures were discussed in detail during a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan on January 1, 2019.
If the plan is adopted, the government will immediately issue guarantees for PKR15 billion rupees in loans and will freez the PKR80 billion rupee debt to the Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority.
Finally, the airline could also receive up to PKR485 million rupees in direct cash injections for current maintenance needs and the upgrade of in-flight entertainment systems of the carrier’s B777s.
The PM also ordered his cabinet to draft legislation by the end of March 2019 which would allow PIA to assume operational control of the country’s capital airport at Islamabad Quaid-e-Azam Int’l. The airline would then relocate its headquarters from Karachi to Islamabad by July this year.
Furthermore, the government is also considering ending the open skies regime and thus reducing market access for foreign airlines serving Pakistan.