PIA chief asks government to restrict Gulf airlines’ flights in Pakistan

PIA chief asks for government's help

The troubled PIA chief is eyeing the help from the government to bail the national flag carrier out and help them fight the Gulf airlines.

German chief executive Bernd Hildenbrand while talking to Reuters, an international news agency, called the Pakistani government for help is fighting the price war with the deep- pocketed Gulf airlines.

Hildenbrand said: “For us, it is very difficult to compete with the Emirates.”  He admitted that the Gulf airlines offer far better and cheaper service than the PIA, which failed to modernize its 35 plane fleet due to the absence of funds.

He also suggested that the government should place some restrictions on the number of flights the Middle Eastern airlines can operate in the Pakistani market. He said that there should be “some limitations on the open-sky policy,” while talking about the agreement of Pakistan aviation service with other countries.

In a Senate Committee last year, PIA management revealed that the airline is incurring PKR 5.64bn losses every month and has accumulated liabilities of over PKR 300 billion.

Hildenbrand name was also placed on Exit Control List (ECL) earlier, restricting him to leave the country while the govt. investigates the cost of an aircraft leasing deal.

He has asked for government’s help to fight for the airline saying “I am not against competition, but unlimited competition is also not possible.” “What went wrong in 25 years you don’t change in half a year. Impossible,” he added.

The share of Gulf airlines have been increasing in the Pakistani market and PIA due to its track record and services cannot compete with them.

Recently, PIA tried to troll the airlines affected by the electronics ban but Emirates once step ahead introduced a new service to facilitate its customers.

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