Pakistan has officially unveiled its intentions to divest from its struggling national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), as a component of its arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This strategic move aligns with Pakistan’s broader strategy to privatize its airport operations, as stipulated in the IMF agreement.
The decision to initiate the privatization of PIA was reached during a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Following a legislative amendment made by the Parliament, the committee opted to include Pakistan International Airlines Co. Ltd in the roster of projects earmarked for privatization.
Furthermore, the committee granted its endorsement for the appointment of a financial consultant who will facilitate the transaction involving the Roosevelt Hotel located in New York. This property is owned by PIA Investment Limited.
In an endeavor to revitalize its operations, Pakistan aspires to reinstate PIA flights to the United Kingdom within a span of three months. The suspension of these flights was triggered by a pilot license scandal. In 2020, flights to Europe and the UK were halted after the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency rescinded PIA’s operating clearance in the region, citing concerns related to pilot licensing.
The decision to divest from PIA, a state-owned enterprise grappling with substantial losses and debts, underscores Pakistan’s commitment to adhering to sound financial practices as laid out in the IMF agreement. Pakistan secured a $3 billion bailout package from the IMF in June, and these measures are being undertaken to fulfill the stipulations of that accord.