Pakistan wants to sell the airline as it's facing billions of dollars in debt and losses.
Pakistan plans to privatize its loss-making national carrier Pakistan International Airlines, the government said on Monday, as the country also seeks to outsource its airport operations in line with an IMF deal.
The privatization decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Privatisation chaired by 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 said.
The committee also backed the hiring of a financial adviser to process the transaction of Roosevelt Hotel, New York, an asset of the PIAInvestment Limited, it added.
Pakistan hopes to resume PIA flights to Britain in the next three months after services were suspended following a fake pilot scandal.
The PIA flights to Europe and the UK have been suspended since 2020 after the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency revoked the national carrier’s authorization to fly to the bloc following the pilot license scandal.
The privatization of a state-owned enterprise, the PIA, which has accumulated hundreds of billions of rupee in losses and arrears, comes after Pakistan agreed to fiscal discipline plans with the International Monetary Fund.
Pakistan secured a $3 billion IMF bailout in June.
(Reporting by Asif Shahzad and Baranjot Kaur; editing by David Goodman, Mark Potter, and Alistair Bell.)
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Photo credit: Pakistan plans to privatize its flag airline. Rob Hodgkins / Flickr