The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has suffered a loss of Rs60.71 billion in the first six months of the ongoing year, according to the national flag carrier’s financial report for 2023.
The airline had put up with a loss of Rs41.31 billion in the corresponding period last year.
According to the report, the PIA suffered a loss of Rs27.45 billion in the first six months of this year because of the depreciation of the rupee.
The loss stood at a sum of Rs13.85 billion because of the currency exchange rate during the same period in 2022.
In the first half of 2023, an amount of Rs48.34 billion was spent on fuel and oil. During the same period last year, a sum of Rs30.78 billion was spent on fuel and oil.
The cost of finance in the first half of this year was Rs36.82 billion. This amount stood at Rs21.11 billion in the same period last year.
Read Govt won’t let PIA be grounded
In the first six months of 2023, the total revenue generated by the PIA came to Rs120.27 billion.
According to the report, this was a gross profit of Rs11.25 billion in comparison with the first six months of last year.
In the first half of 2022, the national flag carrier had managed to earn an amount of Rs71.19 billion.
The report mentioned that the operational cost of the airline rose by 41% because of the increase in fuel and oil prices and a hike of 20% was paid in interest rates.
“As anticipated, the aviation industry is healing from the lingering effects of Covid-19 crisis as airlines continue to cut the pertinent losses and passengers take advantage of the ease in travel restrictions,” it read.
The report continued that as per the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) market research, global passenger traffic ended the first half of 2023 on a strong note with revenue passengers kilometres (RPKS) increasing by nearly 47.2% on year-to-year basis.
“[The] reopening of China’s air travel market has served as a major boost for [the] aviation industry as Asia Pacific carriers experience[d] significant growth [recent] years,” it stated.
The report read that globally, air traffic was estimated to rise steadily as IATA’s May 2023 passenger polling data validated an enthusiastic and positive approach of flyers.
“During the six months period ended June 30, 2023, [the] PIACL [Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited] generated a total revenue of Rs120.27 billion with [a] gross profit of Rs11.25 billion as compared to revenue and a gross loss of Rs71.19 billion and Rs4.34 billion respectively in the corresponding period of 2022; witnessing a staggering increase of nearly 359% in the gross profit,” the report concluded.
Caretaker Privatisation Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad recently said the government wwould not ground the PIA — its highest loss-making enterprise — and that no employee of any entity would be sacked even after its privatisation.
The statement came hours after interim Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar said the government would give any support needed to keep the national flag carrier in the skies.
The two separate statements may pacify lobbies working to save the airline despite a severe financial crisis. However, the approach suggested that the taxpayers’ money would constantly be used to defend the ill-advised decisions of the PIA management.