EU flight suspension costs PIA Rs280m, NA told

ISLAMABAD : The National Assembly was informed on Wednesday that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) incurred a loss of Rs280 million after suspension of its flight operation to and from the European Union (EU) states. Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar in a written reply said the national flag carrier’s receipts from its flight operation in the EU bloc fell to Rs1.41 billion from Rs1.69 billion in July-August 2020. However, the minister said the airline raked in a sum of Rs520 million from its Pakistan-UK flights during this period. He said it hired the services of Malta company for flights between the two countries besides operating four round-trip charter flights during coronavirus lockdowns. The PIA raked in Rs5.81 billion revenue as against expenditure to the tune of Rs5.31 billion, he added. Sarwar said Pakistan International Airlines also resumed flights to Canada, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. The National Assembly Wednesday adopted a motion referring the Anti-Terrorism (Third Amendment) Bill, 2020 to the joint sitting of the parliament for consideration and passage. Taking the floor, Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan urged the opposition members to allow the house function as per the rules and regulations and the constitution. He said that nobody can be allowed to hold hostage the proceedings of the house. He made the remarks following the opposition parties staged a walkout from the house after exchanging harsh words with the treasury benches over the issue of quorum. The house has now been adjourned to meet again on Thursday at 11:00am.

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