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PIA flight operation returning to normalcy as fuel crisis subsides

04:26 PM | 19 Oct, 2023
PIA flight operation returning to normalcy as fuel crisis subsides

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has reported that its flight schedule is returning to normalcy after securing the necessary funds for fuel procurement.

According to a spokesperson from the national flag carrier, PIA successfully obtained funds from its own resources, and starting from Thursday, it is anticipated that flight operations will stabilize.

PIA is giving top priority to ensuring seamless operations on crucial international routes, including Toronto, Saudi Arabia, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, and Dubai.

Moreover, as per the spokesperson, the carrier is also gradually restoring flights on domestic routes while regretting the inconvenience caused to passengers due to recent disruptions in flight schedules.

The national carrier of Pakistan canceled over two dozen flights on Wednesday and Tuesday due to fuel shortage and other operational matters which disrupted the travel plans of thousands of passengers.

On Tuesday, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) faced a significant disruption and was forced to cancel 14 domestic flights due to a shortage of fuel. 

This crisis arose after Pakistan State Oil (PSO), a state-owned entity, halted the supply of fuel to PIA over unpaid dues totaling over Rs1.4 billion leading to delays besides cancelation. 

The canceled flights included the ones headed from Islamabad to Gilgit, Quetta, Multan, and flights departing from Karachi to Sukkur and Faisalabad.

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan confirmed that PSO ceased fuel supply due to payment issues as they now demand advance cash payments only.

The crisis lingered on and on Wednesday, the national carrier canceled more flights on national and international routes.

PIA has been handling financial challenges for quite a long period of time now. The national carrier requires approximately Rs100 million daily for fuel, and the suspension of supply from PSO has severely impacted flight operations. 

The caretaker government's decision to privatize PIA, coupled with the withdrawal of interim financial support, has intensified the airline's challenges.

PIA's challenges worsened recently after it was reported that the supply of spare parts to the carrier could be suspended over cash flow problems. The carrier has also grounded some planes in the wake of financial hardships.

Due to the same economic viability challenges, there have been demands for privatizing the national carrier. 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 committee “after deliberation decided to include Pakistan International Airlines Co. Ltd. in the list of active privatization projects of the ongoing privatization program, following an amendment in the law by the Parliament,” a finance ministry statement had said.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 25 Feb 2024 forex rates

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 25 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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