Saudi Civil Aviation Warns Pakistan Airlines To Clear Dues Or Face Ban On Hajj Flights

by Deeplata Garde
Saudi Civil Aviation Warns Pakistan Airlines To Clear Dues Or Face Ban On Hajj Flights

Hajj season is at its peak and pilgrims are flying from around the world. Travellers from Pakistan may face certain trouble if flying to Saudi for the Hajj. Pakistan International Airlines may stop taking bookings as Saudi ask them to clear dues. If not done in time, PIA services may be suspended for Hajj.

Unpaid Dues Might Push PIA Towards Suspension

The Pakistan International Airline (PIA), the country’s flag carrier, was urged by the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to settle $48 million in unpaid debts in order to continue operating, including Hajj flights.

The GACA further cautioned that unless the funds are fulfilled, the return of the 50,000 Hajj pilgrims will not begin. The disclosures, according to people familiar with the situation, were made by the finance minister Ishaq Dar this week during a conference for economic management.

Since the ECC only released PKR 4 billion of the PKR 22 billion in pending lawsuits as a result of markup up to June 2023, the severely improperly handled Pakistani state airlines may even go out of business.

Also Read: Emirates, Etihad Suspend Flights To & From Saudi Arabia Until Further Notice

Multiple Lawsuits Against Pakistan International Airlines

Additionally, it was disclosed that the PIA’s lessor, AerCap, had its B-777 aircraft seized in Kuala Lumpur last month. After the Pakistani government paid the late amount and submitted the PIA invoices through the clearing house of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), it was made available. Willis Leasing has also filed a case against the PIA in the US for non-payment. The PIA eliminate and returned the two A-320 aeroplane engines they leased from them in order to avoid any more negative consequences.

Due to unpaid dues totalling more than $2.8 million, The PIA’s IATA membership was also in jeopardy. The payment was due on or before June 21. On June 23, the money was paid.

Despite its challenges, the PIA has also been given the task of expanding its aircraft fleet from 27 to 49. The government hopes would also help the airline out of its current predicament.

Cover Image Courtesy: Media Gallery