KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) cancelled ATR aircrafts acquired on the expensive lease arrangement, PIA’s spokesman informed the media on Saturday.
PIA ATR-72 aircrafts had a higher operational cost than the expected market value, resultantly making the flight operations non-profitable. These aircrafts were acquired on a lease in the year 2015, which was higher than the present market price but due to the agreement, PIA was unable to return them earlier.
The ATR-72 aircraft cost the PIA rentals charges whilst on the ground; on the instructions of CEO PIA, Air Marshal Arshad Malik, PIA officials negotiated a deal to return the aircraft to the leasing company with no cash penalty. Contrary to the norms of the leasing business.
CEO PIA’s personal efforts and PIA Board’s support made such a deal possible under extreme pressure on the Aviation Sector due to COVID pandemic. It will save the national carrier millions of dollars in rent which would have been paid if the aircraft had stayed with PIA remaining on the ground due to no flights under the pandemic. This is yet another course correction by CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik
The first ATR-72 aircraft returned is registered under the serial number APBKY, which departed from Karachi for Johannesburg, South Africa. while 3 other ATR72 will also be returned.
CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik while congratulating the PIA team on successful negotiations, which made the return of these aircraft possible, said that it was not only a difficult decision at this crucial time but unavoidable as well.
CEO PIA said that the airline will keep operating other ATR aircraft which make the operations viable on short routes.
Meanwhile, under the supervision of the Government of Pakistan, PIA will soon acquire new aircraft in its fleet which will improve the airline’s product and service considerably. New aircraft and improved service are expected since long from our passengers will soon be fulfilled, said CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik.