KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has returned its London-bound premier service Airbus 330 aircraft, which was wet, leased from SriLankan Airlines, having already paid $19 million for it. PIA had been paying $8,100 per flying hour for six months as part of the wet lease, it has been learnt.
PIA Spokesperson Daniyal Gilani said that the aircraft was obtained on market rate without any legal violations. “The aircraft was new and according to the necessary requirements,” the spokesperson maintained.
“The amount paid in the lease also takes into account the salaries of the foreign staff and any other associated expenses,” he added.
Earlier three international airlines, Turkish Airlines, Srilankan Airlines and Portuguese charter airline Hi Fly, submitted bids for the tender of A-330 aircraft on wet lease and the tender was reportedly awarded to THY.
Sources revealed that the PIA management had decided for a fresh tender agreement with THY. THY is leasing out similar aircraft to PIA at US $6000 per hour for guaranteed hours. It is said that PIA will now operate the premier service through THY A-330, the Aircraft will arrive in third week of March.
The London-bound premier service was inaugurated on August 14, 2016, by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
As part of the service, passengers landing in London were offered limo rides to their respective place of stay from Heathrow Airport.