Pakistan

PIA Acquires Two Airbus A320s From Jakarta After Payment Dispute

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has successfully acquired two Airbus A320 planes that were stuck in Jakarta, Indonesia, for more than two years due to a payment dispute with a foreign leasing company. The national carrier paid $25 million to buy the planes and bring them back to Pakistan.

The two planes were leased by PIA from AirAsia in 2015 for a period of six years. However, when the lease term ended in 2021, AirAsia refused to take back the planes, claiming that they did not meet the contractual conditions. AirAsia alleged that PIA had not performed the required maintenance checks on the planes and that some of their parts were faulty.

PIA denied the allegations and offered to buy the planes from AirAsia, but the offer was rejected. The planes were then parked at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, where they accumulated a huge parking fee of $15.4 million over 26 months. The parking fee was $0.6 million per month for each plane.

PIA decided to resolve the issue by sending a delegation to Jakarta in October 2023. The delegation included the Secretary of Aviation, the CEO of PIA, the Chief Technical Officer, and the Chief Financial Officer. The delegation negotiated with AirAsia and the Indonesian authorities and managed to buy the planes for $25 million.

One of the planes flew to Pakistan on Monday, December 4, 2023, after getting the route clearance, while the other plane will arrive in Pakistan in a few days. PIA officials said that the addition of two planes to its fleet will improve its operations to the Gulf countries.

PIA has been facing financial difficulties for several years and has been trying to revive its performance and reputation. The airline has a total fleet of 31 aircraft, out of which 20 are currently active. The fleet consists of four ATR 42-500s, one ATR 72-500, 13 Airbus A320-200s, six Boeing B777-200ERs, two B777-200LRs, and four B777-300ERs.

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