Three Boeing 777s among 11 aircraft grounded by PIA

Official says national flag carrier lacks funds to purchase spare parts for the planes.

RAWALPINDI: Pakis­tan International Airlines (PIA) has grounded 11 aircraft, including three of its Boeing 777s, as the national flag carrier faces a serious financial crisis due to the uncontrolled flight of dollars and increase in prices of petroleum products.

According to sources, the airline, which operates around 30 aircraft, has been facing serious difficulties in procuring spare parts for the past three years due to scarcity of funds, which has resulted in the grounding of 11 planes.

Two of the three wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft were grounded in 2020 and one in 2021. Five A320 aircraft have also been grounded — two in 2021 and three in 2023. PIA also grounded three ATR aircraft — one each in 2020, 2022 and 2023.

A spokesman for PIA confirmed that 11 aircraft have been grounded due to a lack of funds to buy spare parts as the national flag carrier is facing serious financial challenges, including dependency on foreign currency.

A senior official of the airline said the PIA fleet consisted of 31 aircraft and three of the 11 grounded planes — Boeing 777, Airbus and ATR — are beyond repair for want of engines and other parts.

The official said PIA is currently operating with the remaining 20 aircraft and the flight operations are being carried out according to the available aircraft.

He said the airline will be facing a shortage of aircraft if flights are increased, especially on international routes.

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