BAFL 45.31 Increased By ▲ 0.51 (1.14%)
BIPL 20.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.73 (-3.48%)
BOP 5.61 Increased By ▲ 0.33 (6.25%)
CNERGY 4.60 Increased By ▲ 0.18 (4.07%)
DFML 15.82 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.06%)
DGKC 73.45 Increased By ▲ 2.14 (3%)
FABL 27.32 Decreased By ▼ -0.48 (-1.73%)
FCCL 16.98 Decreased By ▼ -0.31 (-1.79%)
FFL 8.51 Decreased By ▼ -0.23 (-2.63%)
GGL 12.69 Decreased By ▼ -0.47 (-3.57%)
HBL 111.18 Decreased By ▼ -2.22 (-1.96%)
HUBC 119.71 Decreased By ▼ -2.19 (-1.8%)
HUMNL 7.37 Decreased By ▼ -0.57 (-7.18%)
KEL 3.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-3.56%)
LOTCHEM 27.43 Decreased By ▼ -0.47 (-1.68%)
MLCF 39.14 Decreased By ▼ -0.29 (-0.74%)
OGDC 108.10 Decreased By ▼ -1.17 (-1.07%)
PAEL 17.70 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-3.28%)
PIBTL 5.55 Decreased By ▼ -0.19 (-3.31%)
PIOC 106.48 Decreased By ▼ -3.52 (-3.2%)
PPL 92.12 Decreased By ▼ -1.49 (-1.59%)
PRL 25.01 Decreased By ▼ -0.14 (-0.56%)
SILK 1.02 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-3.77%)
SNGP 63.31 Decreased By ▼ -0.39 (-0.61%)
SSGC 11.84 Decreased By ▼ -0.41 (-3.35%)
TELE 8.33 Decreased By ▼ -0.55 (-6.19%)
TPLP 13.18 Decreased By ▼ -0.72 (-5.18%)
TRG 84.75 Decreased By ▼ -1.05 (-1.22%)
UNITY 25.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.21 (-0.8%)
WTL 1.53 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-4.38%)
BR100 6,185 Decreased By -45.4 (-0.73%)
BR30 21,452 Decreased By -287.1 (-1.32%)
KSE100 60,502 Decreased By -228.3 (-0.38%)
KSE30 20,175 Decreased By -64.2 (-0.32%)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association of global airlines, has warned that Pakistan has become “very challenging” to serve as carriers struggle to repatriate dollars, while $290 million remains struck in the crisis-hit country since January, reported the Financial Times on Thursday.

The aviation body said $290 million of funds were stuck in Pakistan as of January, up nearly a third since December, said the report.

Last year in December, IATA, which represents some 300 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic, in a press release said that Pakistan has blocked $225 million of airline funds for repatriation. The country was among the top markets where airline funds have been blocked from repatriation, IATA had said back then.

“Airlines are facing long delays before they are able to repatriate their funds,” Philip Goh, the IATA’s Asia-Pacific head, was quoted as saying by FT. “Some airlines still have funds stuck in Pakistan from sales in 2022.”

The development comes as Pakistan faces a balance of payment crisis with depleting foreign exchange reserves, with funds held by the central bank standing at a low level of $4.3 billion.

Meanwhile, the import cover is around one month with February’s bill clocking in at $4 billion, according to data available with the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The South Asian country worries are also compounded by an incessant delay in reviving its bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a facility that has been stalled since November last year.

The ongoing crisis has hit industries across the board and air carriers, which sell tickets in local currency but need to repatriate dollars to pay for expenses such as fuel, are no exception.

Last month, Virgin Atlantic announced that “it will be suspending services between London Heathrow and Lahore and Islamabad.”

However, the FT report, citing a person familiar with the matter, said the airline’s decision was based on the economics of the route.

Goh said: “If conditions persist that make the economics of operation to a country unsustainable, one would expect airlines to put their valued aircraft assets to better use elsewhere.”

Earlier this month, the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation decided to send a recommendation in writing to the aviation ministry to call a collective meeting with all airline heads in order to dispel the negative opinion built about Pakistan and convince them to resume operations as usual.

However, FT, citing data from an aviation analytics company Cirium, shared that foreign airlines have been reluctant to return to Pakistan, with fewer total flights scheduled for March 2023 than the same month in 2019.

“If you can’t take money out of a country, then there’s no point in you even going there,” said Mark Martin, chief executive of aviation consultancy Martin Consulting, in the FT report.


Comments are closed.

KhanRA Mar 16, 2023 09:19pm
Everything we do is repelling foreign interest and investment. We are seen as backwards so no one invests here, and no one wants to be our friend. We harbour Lashkar Tayba, helped the taliban, and persecute gays. Is it any wonder the world wants nothing to do with us? Even our friends prefer India to us, and not just because their economy is big, but because they are a modern and progressive country, while we look like backwards fools.
thumb_up Recommended (0)
TimeToMovveOn Mar 17, 2023 01:10am
If investors cannot repatriate their money back, why will any foreign investor invest in Pakistan. Would pakistan citizens invest in pakistan?
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Soldier Mar 17, 2023 01:33am
We may not be able to pay others what we owe, but we have the 7th best army in the world.
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Tulukan Mairandi Mar 17, 2023 03:31am
We can barter the $290 million for some JF17s, the worlds best fighter jet developed by Pakistan with its Iron Brother China.
thumb_up Recommended (0)
Azaree Mar 17, 2023 12:51pm
Another feather in the caps of Haji & Hafiz Inc.
thumb_up Recommended (0)

Air carriers face ‘very challenging’ environment as $290mn stuck in Pakistan: IATA

KSE-100 snaps 7-session rally as profit-taking kicks in

IHC acquits Nawaz Sharif in Avenfield reference

Imran Khan will not take part in intra-party polls, PTI announces

Inter-bank: rupee registers back-to-back gains against US dollar

Open market: rupee unchanged against US dollar

Caretaker PM meets Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister

UAE’s Jaber rejects report on seeking hydrocarbon deals in COP28 meetings

TPL Life Insurance, Dar Es Salam Textile Mills move ahead with merger talks

Gold price per tola jumps Rs2,600 in Pakistan

Israel, Hamas due to release more people amid efforts to extend truce