Rs2.5 billion has been given by the finance ministry to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The money given is collected from prospective Hajj pilgrims. Thus, PIA has escaped the Hajj flight ban.
In a bid to help PIA avoid non-payment on dues to the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), the money has been given. If PIA failed to clear the amount before the due date, it could result in Pakistan’s national carrier being barred from landing in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj season. It could create many problems for the pilgrims.
PIA’s almost default situation was blamed by the Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on the previous government. He said that his government has removed PIA from the default list by clearing the overdue payments to Saudi civil aviation authorities.
He said that as per the past practice the government used to pay PIA its due for Hajj after the Hajj season. But the PTI government has paid in advance to clear the dues.
Khan confirmed that PIA was on GACA’s default list as it failed to clear the longstanding dues. The Saudi agency made it clear that PIA will be barred from conducting the flight operation in the Hajj seasons if it failed to clear the dues. But now as the dues have been cleared, PIA is not on the default list anymore.
The Hajj operations of PIA will start from July 4th and continue until September 14th.