Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is planning to acquire two Boeing 777 aircraft on a dry lease – a lease arrangement whereby an aircraft financing company provides an aircraft without insurance, crew, supporting equiment etc – strictly following the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules.
Presently, the aging fleet of PIA comprise 38 aircraft out of which at least seven remain grounded for the scheduled maintenance besides the out of service aircraft due to technical reasons and bird hits.
All the relevant rules of PPRA have been observed on the tender to the evaluation and related processes, a PIA press release on Friday said.
PIA said that the allegations raised by the Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) are unjustified that could be due to their lack of understanding about the technicalities of the induction of aircraft.
TIP earlier blamed the national carrier for specifying the brand names for the Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The same was very much in
line with the PPRA rules as the identical type of aircraft is in operation by PIA in its fleet.
Induction of the same type of aircrafts results in enormous savings in terms of training cabin and cockpit crew, maintenance engineers and spare parts availability.
TIP is accusing PIA for not specifying the engine brands and may acquire the Boeing 777 aircraft fitted with Pratt and Whitney engines instead of General Electric Aviation engines, it said, adding that the strange logic of TIP on specifying brand names is beyond understanding. PIA did not specify the brand name of the engines will acquire the aircraft with lowest cost to the airline.
These aircrafts are being leased for the efficient maintenance of the operating schedule and for the Hajj season commencing mid-September.
The airline requires additional aircrafts on an urgent basis to serve its passengers in the Hajj season.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2012.