BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Monday, 24 September, 2001, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
Pakistan's airline under pressure
Pakistan Airlines Boeing 747
PIA has had to reroute flights to avoid Afghan airspace
Pakistan's flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), is bracing itself for the fall-out from the terrorist attacks in the United States.

The airline was in financial difficulties even before the attacks.

Now the situation is set to get worse, both because of the global travel downturn and Pakistan's proximity to Afghan airspace.

Since the attacks PIA had to change many of its routes, because its aeroplanes do no longer fly over Afghanistan.

This has lengthened journey times to the United States and the United Kingdom by one hour, an expensive change to schedules.

Insurance costs are also up, as Pakistan's location compounds PIA's difficulties.

The increased tension in the region is a setback for an airline that only recently received a 20bn rupee bail-out package from the government, and saw its financial situation improve over the past few months.

To make things worse, it also faces demands for higher pay from pilots.

Potential problems

PIA's chief operating officer, Khursheed Anwar, told the BBC's World Business Report that the airline had not yet experienced a fall in passenger numbers.

However Mr Anwar believes this is due to the backlog of travellers, as many flights were cancelled immediately after the attacks.

"We feel that advance bookings may be cancelled in the month of October and that's when major problems could start," he said.

Mr Anwar said he did believe that the lifting of US sanctions against Pakistan would help PIA, and Pakistan business in general.

"We expect to see an improvement in traffic both in passenger and freight... and also we hope that our currency will stabilise and not depreciate as it has been doing in the past," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Khursheed Anwar, Pakistan International Airlines
"We are expecting this situation will result in financial losses"
See also:

23 Sep 01 | Business
Sanctions boost for Pakistan economy
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories