Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has paid US$2 million to SriLankan Airlines recently as delayed payments and lease instalments inclusive of extra flying hours of A330 aircraft wet leased to Pakistan’s national carrier in August last year, a senior official closely connected to PIA disclosed.
This settlement of arrears was made, more than four months after the return to SriLankan Airlines of the Airbus A-330 aircraft, he said. The Pakistani carrier had reportedly faced a financial loss within four months of its inauguration of its premier service to London, the official revealed.
The PIA administration had to pay $8,000 per hour a day for six months for the aircraft that was taken over on lease for its premier service at a cost of over $19 million, the final payment in arrears being $2 million.
It is important to mention here that PIA officials have been leaking information about the lease of Srilankan airlines Airbus A330 from last few months. What they have not leaked is the competitive bidding report and the process through which this aircraft was leased. According to documents available with Pakistan Aviation the process was spearheaded by the Prime Minister office who wanted to start the premier service at any cost. PIA did not complete the leasing agreement in letter and spirit resulting in heavy losses faced by Srilankan airlines and PIA.