Wednesday April 17, 2024

All flights continue uninterrupted despite accounts frozen: PIA

Sources say several domestic and international flights were either cancelled or faced delays

By Tariq Abul Hasan
July 27, 2023
A carrier of the PIA. — AFP/File
A carrier of the PIA. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) said Wednesday night that its flights continued uninterrupted despite the tax bureau freezing its accounts.

In recent years, mismanagement of funds, a rise in operating costs, and a surge in fuel prices have led to financial difficulties for the national carrier.

The PIA has also faced scrutiny over its compliance with international safety standards, leading to temporary bans and restrictions on Pakistani airlines in various countries.

Sources told Geo News otherwise, saying that several domestic and international flights were either cancelled or faced delays.

Initially, sources in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said that PIA's bank accounts were frozen due to non-payment of taxes worth around Rs4 billion.

"The FBR has, through tickers, collected Federal Excise Duty worth Rs4 billion," the sources said, an amount which is deposited in the national kitty.

Once all the bank accounts were frozen, PIA faced difficulty paying for its planes' fuel as the sources said that the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) had refused to supply the same.

As the national carrier wasn't able to secure fuel on time, sources said several flights faced either cancellation or delay:

  • PK-370 — Karachi to Islamabad
  • PK-306 — Karachi to Lahore
  • PK-350 — Karachi to Peshawar
  • PK-310 — Karachi to Quetta
  • PK-302 — Karachi to Bahawalpur, Lahore
  • PK-309 — Islamabad to Karachi
  • PK-330 — Karachi to Islamabad
  • PK-739 — Multan to Jeddah
  • Karachi to Rahim Yar Khan

In response, PIA's spokesperson told Geo News that the airline had contacted the government to persuade the tax body to unfreeze its accounts.

"All aerial operations continued [despite the hudle]," the spokesperson said.