May 10, 2019: Minister for Aviation Division Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Friday informed the Senate that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) losses have surged to Rs 416 billion, adding that efforts were being made to acquire aircrafts on dry leases to enhance flight operations.
Responding to various questions during Question Hour, the minister said only non-commercially viable routes were closed while viable ones were being opened.
He said domestic and international flights were reduced due to shortage of aircrafts. Currently, PIA was operating its flights on 18 international routes including UK, Italy, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Iraq, Qatar, China, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Canada, he said.
To a supplementary question, the minister said construction of airport in Mansehra was mere a political announcement and no funds were allocated for it.
He said more flights would be operated for Quetta after acquiring aircrafts besides resuming air-traffic to Saidu Sharif.
To another question, the house was told that the Chinese government had agreed to provide 100 per cent grant of Rs 35,270 million for the construction of new Gwadar International Airport. The constructed work is expected to begin by June, 2019 by the Chinese contractor and the project is scheduled to be completed in 36 months.