SIALKOT: National flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced that it will start direct flights to Paris (France) and Barcelona (Spain) from the Sialkot International Airport on Sunday.
In this regard, PIA will hold a launching ceremony at the Sialkot airport where Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar will be the chief guest.
A day ago, PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar told The Express Tribune that PIA had started its revamp by undertaking new strategies like redesigning routes such as Sialkot-Sharjah and Lahore-Muscat, adopting new software and chartering new aircraft.
PIA had improved flight time and seat factor and had planned to acquire four new aircraft on wet lease - with crew - in the next three months, he said, adding PIA was planning to get maximum advantage of the upcoming Hajj season.
Earlier this week, PIA Chairman and CEO Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood Malik said a comprehensive strategy had been evolved for the revival of the air carrier by turning it into a profit-earning enterprise.
PIA aims to capture slots left by Emirates
On his maiden visit to the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Malik revealed that a short-term plan would ensure smooth functioning of the airline while in the long run PIA would be revived on a sustainable basis in the next three to five years.
He said PIA had seven loss-making routes and his first priority was to get rid of such routes while in the next phase more remedial steps would be taken to revive the airline on a permanent basis.
“All unprofitable routes will be closed and air services on new profitable routes will begin very soon,” he declared.
Responding to a question, the CEO disclosed that three direct flights per week would be launched on the Faisalabad-Jeddah route from February 15. (with additional input from our correspondents)
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