KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Tuesday unveiled its five-year business plan prepared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and submitted it to the Ministry of Finance for approval.

Federal Finance and Revenue Minister Shaukat Tarin, chairing a meeting on PIA’s 2022-26 business plan, said on Tuesday that the government believes in reviving and recovering PIA’s past glory and making it a profitable organization.

He underlined the need to focus on the Pakistani diaspora, improve customer services and consider the possibility of direct flights in the business plan to make PIA a thriving organization that could contribute to the economic development of Pakistan and serve our communities at home and abroad.

While appreciating the hard work of the consultant, the President underlined that PIA is a national airline and must be a world-class airline.

The business plan aims to eliminate the deficit and restore the flag carrier’s lost glory. IATA had prepared the business plan at the request of the government and the Ministry of Finance and according to the plan, the PIA would generate profits by 2024.

The number of PIA aircraft will gradually increase from 29 to 49 and the fleet will consist of 16 large and 27 small aircraft and six modern turboprops. As a result, the number of PIA passengers will also increase from 5.2 million to nine million. In line with the five-year plan, PIA’s assets will grow from $1.196 billion to $2.183 billion in 2026.

The national airline will expand its network, adding more flights to lucrative routes such as the UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

“PIA will launch new routes to the destinations of Baku, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Kuwait, Tehran, Urumqi and Singapore,” the five-year plan document said. The IATA plan indicated that the PIA would focus on cargo and charter as well as the passenger revenue model.

However, the implementation of the business plan has been tied to few things like the federal government will have to complete the financial restructuring of PIA.

It was also stated in the plan that the government should implement the National Aviation Policy 2019 in faithful letter and spirit that calls on the government to protect the interests of the national airline. To establish the PIA on a commercial basis, external influences and interference must be eliminated.

Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Aviation Secretary, Finance Secretary, EAD Secretary, PIA Board and Members, PIA CEO and senior executives attended the meeting.

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