PSO refuses to give fuel to PIA

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KARACHI/ LAHORE : The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has refused to provide jet fuel to the cash-strapped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) over the lack of payment of its outstanding dues, adding to the national flag carrier’s serious financial woes.

Another one of PIA’s flights was stopped in Canada on the complaints of the ground handling and the fuel companies but it was released as soon as their dues were cleared.

According to details, two PIA flights were stopped at the Lahore airport on Wednesday.

According to the PIA spokesperson, the airline’s flight PK 305 from Lahore to Karachi at 5pm and flight PK 741 from Lahore to Madina at 6pm were not supplied with fuel.

The spokesperson added that talks with the PSO were under way and the flights would depart as soon as the fuel was supplied.

As for the plane in Canada, PIA’s flight PK 790 was grounded at the Toronto airport for not paying dues to the ground handling and fuel companies.

The PIA spokesperson said the plane had been released after the airline cleared the ground handling and fuel companies’ dues of $200,000 and the national flag carrier’s flights operation to Canada was continuing on a “regular basis.”

He added that the PIA handling agent as well as fuel company had been paid fees and charges, which were delayed because of the time zone difference.

The PIA spokesperson ruled out the probability of any suspension of flights to and from Toronto.
He continued that the PIA was regularly maintaining and operating its flight schedule to all the destinations it offered.

In response to the “misinformation” spread by a section of the media that the PIA might close down its flights operation to Toronto, the spokesperson termed the news as “baseless”.

He clarified that the national flag carrier was regularly operating its flights to Toronto.

The spokesperson requested the media to refrain from airing news reports that not only affected the image of the airline but also the country.

He added that such news reports not only adversely affected the sales of the airline, but also benefitted its competitors.

According to the PIA’s financial report for 2023, the national flag carrier suffered a loss of Rs60.71 billion in the first six months of the ongoing year.

The airline had put up with a loss of Rs41.31 billion in the corresponding period last year.

According to the report, the PIA suffered a loss of Rs27.45 billion in the first six months of this year because of the depreciation of the rupee.

The loss stood at a sum of Rs13.85 billion because of the currency exchange rate during the same period in 2022.

In the first half of 2023, an amount of Rs48.34 billion was spent on fuel and oil. During the same period last year, a sum of Rs30.78 billion was spent on fuel and oil.

The cost of finance in the first half of this year was Rs36.82 billion. This amount stood at Rs21.11 billion in the same period last year.

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