PIA loses Rs3b in one week

April 19, 2010

LAHORE: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has cancelled 42 flights to Europe and the US since April 14, losing more than three billion rupees in passenger and cargo sectors within a week.

A spokesperson for the PIA said that 10 flights were cancelled on Sunday and 6,000 passengers were stranded.

Most of Europe remained a virtual no-fly zone on Sunday, with about 30 countries closing or restricting airspace amid safety fears over the sulfurous dust coming from the Icelandic volcano.

Europe’s biggest airports remained shut, leaving passengers stranded around the world as a global backlog grows. European air traffic control and safety agency Eurocontrol said Sunday that 63,000 flights have been cancelled since the ash cloud began disrupting air travel on Thursday.

As many as 18 flights going to North America and Europe were cancelled on Saturday and it may take another week for normal operations to resume.

PIA District Manager Mansoor Ahmed Maila has appealed to the passengers to cooperate with the airline’s management and assured that flights will resume as soon as air traffic is allowed on the affected routes.

Passengers can check flight schedules from PIA’s call center at 111-786-786. About 450 in-transit PIA passengers are stuck at different locations in Europe and the airline has arranged for their stay in hotels.

PIA is preparing plans to operate additional flights to carry the stranded passengers to their destinations and recover the loss as the situation improves.