The Pakistani government has confirmed that the loss-making national flag-carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), looks set to be privatized.
In a statement on August 7, 2023, the government announced that the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) held a meeting where attendees, including the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, considered a proposal that PIA should enter the country’s the privatization program.
“The CCoP after deliberation decided to include Pakistan International Airlines Co. Ltd (PIACL) in the list of active privatization projects of the ongoing privatization program, following an amendment in the law by the Parliament,” the statement said.
Additionally, the CCop also gave the green light for a financial adviser to be found to process the transaction of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, an asset of PIA Investment Limited (PIA-IL).
In July 2020, the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) suspended the PIA’s license for flights to European countries.
The suspension came following a pilot license scandal in which Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority suspected active Pakistani pilots had cheated during mandatory pilot exams.
According to Reuters, in July 2023, Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said he hoped flights to the United Kingdom (UK) would resume over the next few months.
“God willing, the PIA flights will resume at least to the UK in three months, and, later, flights to Europe and America will resume,” he said.
In June 2023, Pakistan secured a $3 billion a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.