A Saudi prince is inclined to save the nation’s second-largest airline—Shaheen Air International from the financial crisis. Shaheen Air has settled a deal with a Saudi prince. The complete takeover would probably be happening in the span of the next two months, as per a statement released by the airline on Thursday.
Javed Sehbai—the acting CEO of Shaheen Air said in a statement that they have finalised a deal with the Saudi prince. They would be conducting a press conference sooner to announce the details regarding the investor and acquisition. This agreement would be a major shift for the airline as well as for the Pakistani aviation industry.
Shaheen Air is not running operations since the last 5 months owing to the default on payment of the government dues of more than three billion rupees. The airline owes 1.5 billion rupees to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Rs 1.6 billion to the FBR on account of the services and taxes. The dues piled up in 3 months before the suspension of the airline operations.
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The flights of Shaheen Air have remained suspended since May 2018 except for the flight that brought back stuck passengers from China or the special Hajj flights.
The airline would be recommencing its operations on all the eleven routes once it pays its dues. The airline has also to pay an enormous amount to its employees which are nearly four thousand people.
Before the crisis struck, the airline was doing operations on eighteen routes having a fleet size of more than 15 aircraft, which has now been decreased to just seven.
The Saudi prince would be attaining some shareholding in Shaheen Air, as Pakistan’s law does not permit international investors to take over a hundred per cent stake of the domestic airlines.
The suspension of airline operations not just made losses for the consumers owing to uncompetitive fares, however, has also posed a threat to the jobs of thousands of employees of Shaheen Air.