• Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Cash-strapped Pakistan airline operated 80+ flights with ZERO passengers

Discussion in 'Central & South Asia' started by Skull and Bones, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Skull and Bones

    Skull and Bones ELITE MEMBER

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    Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the country’s national airline carrier, operated dozens of flights from Islamabad Airport without any passengers for two years, local media claims.
    According to Geo News TV, the airline operated 46 regular flights and 36 Hajj pilgrim flights between 2016 and 2017 with no passengers on board. It suffered an estimated 180 million Pakistan rupees (over $1.1 million) in losses, already cash-strapped due to the unsteady national economy.

    The figures were apparently revealed in an internal audit report seen by the news outlet. The report also stated that no internal inquiry was launched regarding the flights despite the administration being aware of the problem.

    The reasons for operating empty flights, as well as for the administration ignoring the matter, have not been revealed. The airline is yet to issue an official statement.

    The report comes as Pakistan’s economy faces rising inflation, current account deficits, and downward pressure on its currency. In an attempt to deal with the situation, Pakistan’s Central Bank was forced to raise rates nine times since the start of 2018. Pakistan also secured bailouts, including from the International Monetary Fund, in July to keep the economy afloat. An IMF team arrived in Islamabad earlier this week to review the country’s progress on reforms agreed on as part of the bailout package.

    Pakistan also faces the possibility of being blacklisted by the Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for alleged terrorist financing. The FATF placed Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ of countries with inadequate controls to prevent terrorist funding last year. The rating could damage the country’s investment aspirations or even attract sanctions from international organizations if it is downgraded further. Islamabad has repeatedly denied any connection with militant groups.

    https://www.rt.com/business/469346-pakistan-airline-empty-flights/
     
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  2. 313ghazi

    313ghazi SENIOR MEMBER

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    This is no surprise whatsoever. They have been doing this for years. I don't know who in PIA stands to gain financially from it, but travel agents would try and swindle people. if you try and buy tickets they'll tell you the seats are booked, and the only available seats are very expensive, but in fact the planes were often half empty. Many people who travelled PIA reported this.

    I would have thought online booking would have resolved this.
     
  3. Skull and Bones

    Skull and Bones ELITE MEMBER

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    Why don't just sell those uneconomical routes to other operators?

    PIA already sold JFK routes few years back, it was shocking to know that PIA wasn't making any money by operating from JFK.
     
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  4. 313ghazi

    313ghazi SENIOR MEMBER

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    I doubt the routes are I'm talking about are uneconomical. Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham to Islambabad are ram packed, they could do flights twice a day and have enough people flying, YET people i know have been told that the flights are fully booked and it will be impossible to get a seat, then sold expensive tickets last minute by travel agents.

    The travel agents blame the people they buy/book the tickets with, or PIA. I'm not sure how this swindle works, but my uncle has been through this exact same thing. Bought an expensive last minute ticket, only to find the flight was sparcely populated. Maybe it's a travel agent scam?
     
  5. The Accountant

    The Accountant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Lolz, what FATF have to do with financial performance of PIA, such a low level partial reporting.

    As for empty flights it is quiet common in hajj operations as before hajj the traffic is from Pakistan to Saudia and after Hajj it is reverse.

    The charges of Hajj flights are already higher to incorporate cost of empty flights. This is similar to UAE during eid holdiays however, Emirates still gets passengers as there are other business as well but Hajj flights of PIA are special flights to cities like Madina and Jaddah whose prime activity during these days is related to Hajj only
     
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  6. El Sidd

    El Sidd ELITE MEMBER

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    we will not sell PIA.

    self immolate in protest