PIA suffers Rs1.8 billion loss due to strike: spokesperson

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesperson Danyal Gilani on Thursday said that the national airline had suffered an estimated loss of Rs1.8 billion since last week due to the employees’ protest against the proposed privatization of PIA.

As the PIA employees continued demonstrations against privatisation plans and imposition of Essential Services Maintenance Act 1952 for the third day in major cities, the spokesman told a private news channel that over 150 flights had been cancelled in the last three days.

From Jan 26 till Feb 2, when a two PIA employees were shot dead during a demonstration outside the Karachi airport, the airline suffered a loss of Rs1 billion, he added.

A PIA spokesman earlier said that most people had cancelled their bookings because of the reports about the strike.

The airline suffered loss of Rs500 million between Feb 2 and 3 and would lose further around Rs300 million by the evening of Feb 4, Gilani added.

He said the PIA was in final stages of negotiations with Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines to facilitate its passengers booked to travel internationally. The services of a private carrier were being used to accommodate passengers booked on domestic flights.

Meanwhile, the PIA management has arranged four Boeing 747 jumbo planes to bring back hundreds of Pakistani pilgrims stranded in Jeddah because of cancellation of its flights.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday accepted the resignation of PIA Chairman Nasser Jaffer, said a statement from the Prime Minister House.

Aviation Secretary Muhammad Ali Gardezi was given the additional charge of PIA Chairman.

Jaffer had announced in a TV interview on Tuesday that he resigned following the death of two PIA employees during a clash with security personnel in Karachi.

“My conscience doesn’t allow me to head the organisation anymore,” he said.

INP

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