PIA pays back $2 mln in A330 aircraft wet lease arrears

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has paid US$2 million to SriLankan Airlines recently as delayed payments and lease installments inclusive of extra flying hours of A330 aircraft wet leased to Pakistan’s national carrier in August last year, a senior official closely connected to PIA disclosed.

This settlement of arrears was made, more than four months after the return to SriLankan Airlines of the Airbus A-330 aircraft, he said.
The wet lease deal by Sri Lanka’s national carrier at an astronomically high rate is shocking; Pakistan media reports quoted a PIA official as saying.

SriLankan Airlines was levying PIA a rate of $8100 per hour under the lease agreement which is a very high amount, he said. The normal charge is about $6000 per hour.

Someone in the middle has got a ‘massive cut’ from this unfavourable deal for PIA, the Pakistani official said.

The Pakistani carrier had reportedly faced a financial loss within four months of its inauguration of its premier service to London, he revealed.
The PIA administration had to pay $8,000 per hour a day for six months for the aircraft that was taken over on lease for its premier service at a cost of over $19 million, the final payment in arrears being $2 million.

PIA’s former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), a German national Bernd Hildenbrand has failed to return to the country to face corruption charges after being permitted to go abroad by the Pakistani government.

He was removed from his post in April on charges of causing the flag carrier losses totaling millions of dollars due to alleged corruption arising out of the SriLankan Airlines deal.

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