Islamabad: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the country’s ailing national carrier, has cancelled 48 flights, including both domestic and international routes, due to non-availability of fuel. A spokesperson for PIA told Pakistani news outlet The Dawn that the flights were cancelled due to a limited fuel supply for its daily flights and operational issues. The departure of some flights had been rescheduled, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that 13 domestic flights and 11 of them on international routes were cancelled due to unavailability of fuel. Twelve other flights were delayed, he stated. According to the PIA, the passengers of the cancelled flights were shifted to alternative flights. It also advised passengers to contact the PIA customer care, PIA offices or their travel agent before arriving at the airport to check their flight status following this decision.
On October 18, the PIA cancelled more than a dozen flights — 16 international and eight domestic flights — while some flights were expected to be delayed. The fuel shortage for PIA aircraft was caused by the state-owned Pakistan State Oil (PSO) suspending its supply over unpaid dues. The future of the airline, which is already on the brink of collapse and heading towards privatization due to accumulated debts, remains uncertain.
The situation has been further exacerbated by the Pakistan government’s refusal to provide Rs 23 billion in support for operational expenses, despite the national airline’s request.