PIA spokesperson says that 8 out of 12 Boeing 777s are operational, and that maintenance is underway for 2 aircraft, in response to Senator Saleem Mandviwalla’s statement. PIA spokesperson says that Mandviwalla’s statement is not factually correct.
The spokesperson reiterated that national-level leaders should only make statements after carefully scrutinizing the facts. He noted that eight out of 12 of the PIA’s Boeing 777 aircraft are operational, with maintenance on two planes currently underway.
The statement added that the required funds have been disbursed and the remaining planes will be operational by the end of August.
This follows an earlier incident this month in which PIA was prevented from using a newly acquired plane for flight operations due to a tax dispute with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
A dispute between PIA and FBR has arisen over the payment of duty on recently acquired new planes. This tax dispute is causing a significant financial loss, amounting to millions of dollars, to the national airline.
PIA acquired four Airbus A-320 aircraft through tenders, with the first plane landing in Islamabad on April 29.
FBR imposed a sales tax of Rs410 million on the national airline for acquiring the plane on lease.
The PIA management is encountering difficulties with making a lump-sum payment of the considerable tax to the FBR, as the airline is already paying $0.5 million in lease money for each aircraft. However, the airline will be granted permission for using the recently acquired aircrafts for flight operation after the sales tax payment is made.