Clear dues and overcome delays or face ban: S Arabia warns PIA

Saudi Arabia has warned Pakistan`s cash-strapped official carrier PIA that if it fails to pay outstanding dues and does not overcome delays in Umrah flights its operations would be banned.

PTI| Last Updated: May 06, 2014, 21:23 PM IST

Lahore: Saudi Arabia has warned Pakistan`s cash-strapped official carrier PIA that if it fails to pay outstanding dues and does not overcome delays in Umrah flights its operations would be banned.

In its latest notice to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Saudi Arabia`s General Authority of Civil Aviation said it would suspend PIA Umrah flights to Jeddah if it fails to overcome delays.

It also warned that it would only allow one flight a day for Jeddah if it does not follow the schedule of flight operations.

Earlier, the General Authority of Civil Aviation had issued a notice to PIA to clear its outstanding airport usage fees or face a ban.

The ground handling company of Saudi Arabia, the Ports Projects Management and Development Company, had held a meeting with the PIA officials in Jeddah and warned of slapping a ban on PIA if it failed to overcome delays and clear its dues, officials told PTI.

PIA spokeman Mashhood Tajwar said congestion at the Jeddah airport was one of the reasons for the flight delays.

"The PIA is facing this problem primarily due to shortage of the fleet," he said.
Asked about clearing of dues, Tajwar said: "PIA provides billions of rupees business to Saudi aviation therefore it will not halt the PIA flights. However we will soon pay our dues."

PIA has been in a bad financial shape since a long time with an accumulative loss of Rs 180 billion.