PIA, Pakistan International Airlines, has shared good news. They announced that their flight schedule, which had been severely disrupted, is getting back to normal. They were able to secure the funds needed to buy fuel on Wednesday.
A spokesperson from the national flag carrier said that they’ve been arranging the money for fuel, and now, starting from October 19, it’s expected that the flights will start returning to their regular schedules. They also mentioned that there could be further improvements in the flight schedule in the coming days.
PIA’s top priority is to make sure that international flights, particularly to destinations like Toronto, Saudi Arabia, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, and Dubai, operate smoothly. They’re also working on gradually getting domestic flights back on track.
The airline expressed regret for any inconvenience caused to passengers due to flight disruptions over the past few days. They had already informed passengers about the rescheduling and cancellation of some of their international and domestic flights for Wednesday.
This disruption was primarily due to a limited supply of fuel by Pakistan State Oil (PSO). On Wednesday, PIA had to cancel a total of 24 domestic and international flights because of this fuel supply issue. Only 26 out of their flights could operate that day.
To resolve the fuel supply problem, PIA paid Rs150 million to PSO for fueling those 26 flights. On the previous day, PSO had provided fuel for only 13 PIA flights after PIA paid Rs125 million.
Over the span of two days (October 17 and 18), about 6,000 passengers were affected by the flight cancellations. Among them, 4,000 were international travelers, and 2,000 were passengers on domestic flights.
It’s important to note that PIA has been facing financial difficulties, leading to these delays and cancellations. Mismanagement and economic instability have created challenges for Pakistan’s economy. The government had to seek financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to manage its debt repayments.
A senior official at PSO explained that they’ve been providing fuel only for flights that PIA prioritizes. This week, PIA agreed to pay Rs100 million every day to cover its dues to the oil company, and in return, PSO received Rs150 million on Wednesday, allowing 26 flights to be refueled.
In their statement, PIA mentioned that they expect to return to normal service from Thursday, thanks to funds they’ve managed to secure from their own resources. However, the statement did not provide further details.