Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had to cancel 77 flights in a single day, comprising 52 international and 29 domestic flights, allegedly due to a disruption in fuel supply from their fuel supplier, Pakistan State Oil (PSO). This disruption was reportedly a consequence of the airline’s worsening financial crisis, as reported by Pakistan Today. The flights were from cities like Gwadar, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Multan.
Pakistan buys its fuel from Pakistan State Oil (PSO) which is state-owned and the leading oil marketing company of the country. Although The Airline had paid PKR 220 million to Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Pakistan International Airlines’ domestic flight operations were halted due to financial constraints and bank closure on Sunday.
Pakistan is currently grappling with an unprecedented economic crisis. The nation is experiencing a staggering inflation rate of 21.3%, a record high. Over the past year, the Pakistani currency has depreciated by half in comparison to the US Dollar. In September 2023, the annual inflation rate surged to a concerning 31.4%, up from 27.4% the previous month.
Additionally, the core inflation rate has increased to 18.6%, marking a slight uptick from the 18.4% recorded in the previous month. These economic challenges are contributing to Pakistan International Airlines’ inability to settle its outstanding dues with its fuel supplier, Pakistan State Oil.
The precise time frame for the flight cancellations remains unspecified. These cancellations have a substantial impact on the airline’s ability to generate revenue, especially amidst the ongoing economic crisis in the country.
The situation creates considerable inconvenience for passengers who have meticulously planned their journeys. It also poses a significant challenge for individuals traveling due to urgent business or family matters, leaving them stranded with their travel plans in disarray and compelling them to seek alternative modes of transportation.