KARACHI:The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which is currently facing a fuel crisis, on Friday carried on with its plan B – limited operations – as several of its flights were cancelled yet again.

The state-run airline’s two-way flights from Karachi to other cities continued to be cancelled and most of them were delayed.

The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has refused to provide jet fuel to the cash-strapped PIA over lack of payment of its outstanding dues, adding to the national flag carrier’s serious financial woes.

Two PIA flights from Karachi to Islamabad – PK 308 and PK 368 – were cancelled.
Similarly, the national airline’s flights from Karachi to Dammam, Muscat, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Quetta were also unable to take off.

 

Further, two flights from Islamabad to Karachi – PK 319 and PK 369 – were cancelled as well.
Four more Islamabad flights – to and from Sukkur and Quetta – were also included in the cancellation list.

Several flights were unable to take off on time. The departure of flight PK 743 from Karachi to Madina was delayed by 6:20 hours.

 

Flight PK 735 from Islamabad to Jeddah, scheduled to take off at 11am, had been delayed by 14 hours.
Similarly, a flight from Multan to Madina would depart at 12pm with a delay of 4:25 hours.

The PIA was operating 48 flights on Friday, 32 of them on international routes while 16 domestically.

The national flag carrier’s priority profitable destinations include Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, Canada, China and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur.

According to the PIA’s management, the airline was purchasing fuel for flights on profitable routes.
Of the outstanding dues, the PIA had paid a sum of Rs530 million to the PSO so far.

The PIA was making more payments to the PSO on a daily basis and avoiding operating less profitable flights.

The airline would need to pay at least Rs100 million to the PSO daily to continue normal operations.

The national flag carrier had paid Rs100 million, Rs125 million, Rs150 million and Rs195 million to the PSO on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday respectively.

In a statement issued by the PSO, it said the national airline had been provided fuel worth Rs3.45 billion between Oct 1 and 18.

It added that the PIA’s current month’s liabilities had reached Rs2.11 billion so far.

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