A PIA B777 has been seized on court orders prior to departure in KL, due to non-payment of lease. Any experienced professional CFO and CEO of a commercial airline operating in international sectors should have been aware of the repercussions involved in international default and instead of challenging the matter in court, they should have done so by making partial payments. A breach in the lease can trigger a default with international lenders and is required to be handled by any qualified experienced aviation industry executive through skillful negotiations.
The aviation industry is facing a crisis, and until the pandemic abates, airlines have embarked on cutting operating costs. These are not times to embark on increasing the fleet and I do not understand the commercial justifications for leasing more aircraft. Funds are to be used to pay lease fees on aircraft already in use, while efforts are made to return used leased aircraft.
PIA was prevented from using two B777 aircraft leased from Dublin-based AerCap in 2015, which sold this portfolio to Peregrine Aviation Co Ltd in 2018. Aircraft with manufacturer serial numbers 32716 and 32717 should never have shipped in international flights.
What more will it take for the Federal Government to understand that those at the helm of the Ministry of Aviation, CAA Pakistan and PIA lack the capacity to handle the affairs of an airline, which is already in crisis? The EASA issue was mishandled by everyone involved. The Aviation Minister must have received this list of more than 800 pilots employed by Pakistani and foreign airlines only by CAA, which has this information. What were the reasons, remains to be investigated? The Secretary of Aviation should have informed the Minister of the repercussions of making such an irresponsible statement in NA.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,