Karachi, 16 March 2022 (TDI): Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will operate two weekly direct flights to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan in Central Asia. Flights will depart from both Karachi and Lahore.
Preparations underway to welcome the first PIA flight to Baku on Wednesday 16 March. Big day for the people of two brotherly countries and important milestone for enhanced connectivity to promote business and tourism. @Official_PIA @azalofficial @ForeignOfficePk @PakinAzerbaijan pic.twitter.com/q1GBtCz7DL
— Bilal Hayee (@BilalHayee) March 14, 2022
On Friday, PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez expressed optimism about a good response from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for permitting the national carrier to operate direct flights to Australia.
Arshad Malik, the CEO of Pakistan International Airlines, recently met with Khazar Farhadov, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Pakistan.
According to Abdullah Hafeez, they expect a response by the end of March, and if CASA allocates seats, PIA might begin operations by April 22. PIA’s 777LR aircraft would be used for the mission.
In its detailed analysis, which proposed a list of activities that the state-owned loss-making enterprise should do to become viable, the international aviation agency IATA Consultancy had also singled out new destinations for PIA, which included Baku.
The IATA plan also recommended that the PIA fleet be expanded from 29 to 49 aircraft by 2026, including 16 wide-body, 27 narrow-body, and six turboprop aircraft.
The flight would be utilized to expand on present profitable routes in the UK, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Gulf, as well as to serve identified markets such as Baku, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Kuwait, Tehran, Urumqi, and Singapore.
If achieved, IATA’s business plan for PIA would see the loss-making state-owned enterprise break even by 2025 and record 3.4 percent profits by 2023.
The plan is for the years 2022 through 2026. By 2026, PIA assets would possibly increase from $1.196 billion to $2.183 billion as a result of the plan’s implementation. The airline lost Rs50 billion in the calendar year of 2021, compared to Rs34.6 billion in the previous year, a 47 percent increase in losses.
PIA’s total accumulated losses have been increasing and are now estimated to be in the range of Rs400 to Rs500 billion.