ISLAMABAD - The long-standing dispute between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Indonesia stands resolved after a high-level delegation negotiated the matter.
As part of the settlement, the national carrier will initially get one of the two Airbus A320 aircraft stranded in Indonesia, it emerged on Tuesday.
The cash-strapped national flag carrier has paid $13 million to the leasing company for the settlement and a spokesman for PIA confirmed that one of the two Airbus 320s will reach Pakistan in a day or two.
As far as the second aircraft is concerned, the spokesperson said it will be added to the fleet within two weeks as PIA had to pay a total of $26m to the leasing company.
The matter had been lingering on for two years but finally, the first aircraft will travel from Jakarta to Bangkok and then onwards to Pakistan, Dawn News reported.
The agreement is a result of talks between the high-level delegation of PIA and the federal government and the Indonesian side that happened in October.
A brief background of the dispute is that PIA’s two Airbus A320 aircraft had been parked in Jakarta since September 2021 due to a dispute with the leasing company.
The national carrier had initially returned the Airbus A320 planes to the leasing company in 2021 but the leasing company declined to accept the aircraft, asserting that they did not meet the specified criteria outlined in the contract.
The national carrier of Pakistan is facing multiple challenges at the moment and there have been demands for privatizing the national carrier due to its economic nonviability. Former Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique also stressed the importance of privatizing the carrier or else it would have to shut operations.
In the final days of the PDM regime, it was also decided to privatize loss-making Pakistan International Airlines during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatization chaired by then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
The caretaker minister for Privatisation, Fawad Hassan Fawad has also advocated privatising the airline and a consultant has also been hired in this regard though the complete process would take a few months.
Pakistani currency remains momentum against US dollar in the open market on February 28, 2024 (Wednesday).
In the open market, the US dollar moves up and currently hovers at 282 for buying and 282.25 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303.1 for buying and 306.1 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.6 for buying, and 355.1 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.25.
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