The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is currently facing intense pressure from investors as it failed to offer any positive news during the last fiscal year. It was recently reported that the the airline has accumulated liabilities of over PKR 300 billion. Also, in a Senate committee briefing, it has been revealed that apart from current liabilities, the national carrier is also incurring an additional loss of PKR 5.6bn every month to this amount.
The three-member Senate committee had been formed to review PIA’s performance. The committee is headed by Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional with Farhatullah Babar of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Abdul Qayoom of the PML-Nawaz as its members.
Following the tragic crash of PIA flight PK-661, the national carrier has been struggling to attract passengers, which has been disclosed as a cause of declining revenues during the briefing. The committee has been informed that the company earned approximately PKR 7.5 billion a month while its expenses were PKR 13.14 bn. The accumulated liabilities of over PKR 300bn include PKR 186bn of bank loans, PKR 40bn of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) charges, almost PKR 13.5bn to be paid to the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and over PKR 4.5bn to the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR).
PIA currently employs around 19,000 people, which many experts believe is not financially feasible for an airline with only 38 aircrafts.
Moreover, many reports indicate that the members of the committee roasted the company’s management as they wanted to know how it incurred such a huge loss, under whose tenure the losses were accumulated and why the company did not take any immediate action to turn around the situation. The senators also expressed extreme displeasure over the company’s failure to provide information requested by the committee during its last meeting. Senator Qayoom said that he was disappointed that the national carrier had not provided required information during the briefing.
PIA chief Bernd Hildenbrand said that most of the poor financial performance of the airline was owing to the aviation policy. He added that despite losses, the company has been successful in getting more passengers than last year.