Global airlines suffer for failing to repatriate $290 million from Pakistan

Web Desk 09:44 PM | 16 Mar, 2023
Global airlines suffer for failing to repatriate $290 million from Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - The economic crisis in Pakistan seems to be impacting foreign airlines as well as they are facing challenges repatriating their dollars against the sale of tickets.

Air carriers sell tickets in local currency but then they need to repatriate dollars to pay for expenses such as fuel and maintenance charges and certainly a delay in the process dents their financial balance.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, the volume of dollars withheld has spiked to $290 million as of January, the Financial Times reported.

Such a practice has led a global airline industry body ‘International Air Transport Association’ to warn that Pakistan has become ‘very challenging’ to serve with flights who are now seriously considering options to serve other routes.

The reason for Pakistan to be holding the foreign currency is its balance of payments crisis. The foreign exchange reserves in the central bank of the country  have nosedived sharply in recent months. 

The economic turmoil has impaired giant firms as well who are unable to import raw materials, with observers raising eyebrows that the country is at risk of default.

The economic crisis has moved Pakistan to become the second-largest amount of foreign currency holder from airlines globally, just after Nigeria.

Commenting on the situation, Philip Goh, the IATA’s Asia-Pacific head, said airlines are facing long delays before they are able to repatriate their funds and some of them have funds stuck in Pakistan from sales in 2022.

The closure of Virgin Atlantic is also being attributed to repatriating funds but some say the route was not feasible from commercial aspect. 

“If conditions persist that make the economics of operation to a country unsustainable, one would expect airlines to put their valued aircraft assets to better use elsewhere,” Goh added.

Apart from Pakistan, airlines are also struggling to repatriate funds from debt-ridden Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Despite encouragement by Pakistan’s senate committee to resume operations, foreign airlines seem reluctant in the current situation.

Statistics by aviation analytics company Cirium suggest that the total flights scheduled for March 2023 were less than the same month in 2019, when the Covid-19 had not disrupted routine operation. The data confirms that Emirates flights were down 24 percent, while those of Saudi state carrier Saudia dropped by 17 percent. 

Pakistan is also engaging the International Monetary Fund to receive some financial support to shore up its resources; however, despite increasing the tariff for utilities, the negotiations have not been successful till now.

Web Desk
Web Desk

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal rates on March 23, 2023

KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on March 23, 2023 (Thursday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.1 286.15
Euro EUR 302.5 305.5
UK Pound Sterling GBP 343.5 347
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.2 78
Saudi Riyal SAR 75.4 76.2
Australian Dollar AUD 187 189.4
Bahrain Dinar BHD 749.55 757.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 205 207.2
China Yuan CNY 40.91 41.31
Danish Krone DKK 40.77 41.17
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.92 36.27
Indian Rupee INR 3.41 3.52
Japanese Yen JPY 2.06 2.11
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 919.22 928.22
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.85 63.45
New Zealand Dollar NZD 176.66 178.66
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.33 26.63
Omani Riyal OMR 731.97 739.97
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 77.43 78.13
Singapore Dollar SGD 208 210
Swedish Korona SEK 26.5 26.8
Swiss Franc CHF 305.12 307.62
Thai Bhat THB 8.19 8.34

Today's gold rates in Pakistan – 23 March 2023

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 203,800 on Thursday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs174,730.   

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Karachi PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Islamabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Peshawar PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Quetta PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Sialkot PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Attock PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Gujranwala PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Jehlum PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Multan PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Bahawalpur PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Gujrat PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Nawabshah PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Chakwal PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Hyderabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Nowshehra PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Sargodha PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Faisalabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Mirpur PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350


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