The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to add eight new aircraft to its fleet on dry lease. It is expected that the aircraft with a seating capacity of 170-plus will be delivered from January to December 2021. It will all be economy with soft divider after two rows.
PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan has told that the airline was already planning to improve its fleet. The spokesman told that this new aircraft will be a replacement to the older planes in the fleet. And that it was the part of their business plan for the past two years which got pushed back due to reduced demand owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. They have signed an agreement to operate direct and daily dedicated cargo flights to China
According to the reports, the PIA’s fleet comprises 37 aircraft, seven Boeing 777s, nine Airbus 320s and 21 ATRs. Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik of PIA had said that by 2023, 12 new aircraft will also be added to the fleet. However, PIA and Oriental Sky Aviation Ltd have signed a landmark cargo charter agreement on Wednesday, agreeing to the direct and daily cargo flights between Pakistan and China. The signing ceremony was attended by PIA’s CEO Air Marshal Malik and Chief Commercial Officer Ali Tahir Qasim.
Agreement of PIA
According to the signed agreement, PIA will be operating seven weekly flights to Urumqi (China), with four flights a week which originates from Islamabad and three flights from Lahore. It will be rare as PIA has never worked for daily cargo flights in this sector. PIA spokesperson has also said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, airlines all over the world had faced the demand for air cargo. Also, many airlines were taking advantage of this pandemic and converting their passenger planes to cargo planes.
“PIA is also aggressively pursuing this path and we are evaluating and on a lookout for opportunities to operate dedicated cargo flights to a number of sectors, specifically on China and Central Asian routes.” Air Marshal Malik also praised his commercial team for initiatives to augment the existing revenue at the signing ceremony. He thanked the MD of Oriental Sky Aviation for his patronage of PIA.