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

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.


Pakistani rupee remains stable against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal and Dirham; Check forex rates

Pakistani rupee remained stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Friday.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Friday, the US dollar remained stable and was being quoted at 283.2 for buying and 286.15 for selling.

Euro comes down to 308 for buying and 311 for selling. British Pound rate dropped to 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.4 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 8 December 2023

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

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.2 286.15
Euro EUR 308 311
UK Pound Sterling GBP 358.5 362
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.4 78.1
Saudi Riyal SAR 76 76.8
Australian Dollar AUD 187.2 189
Bahrain Dinar BHD 757.23 765.23
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.89 40.29
Danish Krone DKK 41.19 41.59
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.41 36.71
Indian Rupee INR 3.42 3.53
Japanese Yen JPY 1.39 1.45
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 921.71 930.71
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 61.02 61.62
New Zealand Dollar NZD 174.54 176.54
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.05 26.35
Omani Riyal OMR 739.62 747.62
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 78.22 78.92
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 27.12 27.42
Swiss Franc CHF 324.94 327.44
Thai Bhat THB 8.06 8.21

Gold prices in Pakistan increase; Check out latest rates here

Gold price in Pakistan increased as the yellow metal witnessed an upward trend in the international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 8 December 2023

On Friday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,400 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,390.

Single tola of 22 Karat Gold costs Rs199,282, 21 karat rate for per tola is Rs190,225 and 18k gold rate is Rs163,050 each tola.

In the global market, gold prices hover at around $2026, gaining $8.30 on Friday.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

Today Gold Price in Pakistan (8 December 2023)

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Karachi PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Islamabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Peshawar PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Quetta PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Sialkot PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Attock PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Gujranwala PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Jehlum PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Multan PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Bahawalpur PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Gujrat PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Nawabshah PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Chakwal PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Hyderabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Nowshehra PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Sargodha PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Faisalabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Mirpur PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583


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