On the 22nd of October, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) experienced a significant operational upheaval due to a shortage of fuel supplied by Pakistan State Oil (PSO). As a consequence of this fuel scarcity, PIA had to cancel a total of 17 international and domestic flights, resulting in substantial inconvenience for passengers across the country.
This interruption in fuel supply stemmed from PIA’s failure to meet a scheduled payment to PSO. PIA had previously committed to making daily payments to PSO to ensure the uninterrupted supply of fuel but was unable to fulfill its financial obligations on that particular Sunday.
In an attempt to rectify the situation, PIA transferred Rs220 million to PSO the day before. Nevertheless, the suspension of flights persisted until later in the day, affecting a variety of routes, including those between Karachi and Islamabad, Karachi and Jeddah, as well as several domestic destinations like Gwadar, Faisalabad, and Bahawalpur.
The repercussions extended beyond mere financial losses for PIA, as numerous passengers found themselves stranded at airports throughout Pakistan. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of financial stability and timely payments in ensuring the operational continuity of essential services such as airlines, which play a pivotal role in connecting people, facilitating travel, and supporting commerce. It underscores the financial challenges and responsibilities that national carriers face and emphasizes the broader consequences of disruptions in their services.