PIA to return excess office space to PCAA amid privatisation plans


ISLAMABAD:As part of its cost-cutting measures and preparation for partial privatisation, PIA – Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Islamabad International) will give back some of the office space it occupies at its Karachi head office complex to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), the owner of the property.

A PIA spokesperson told that the airline had moved many of its offices to a building it owns in Islamabad, resulting in surplus space at the Karachi complex.

“The PIA privatisation process is in full swing, so it is essential that we return the un/under-utilised spaces to the PCAA to save on costs,” the spokesperson said. They added that the PCAA had agreed to the return of the office space in a letter, which was leaked to some Pakistani media outlets and misreported out of context.

Pakistan’s interim prime minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, recently said that he expects progress on PIA’s partial privatisation by January 2024. The government intends to form a public-private partnership with a foreign airline, which would acquire a 40% stake in PIA and inject substantial equity and operational control. The government has hired a consortium led by global business consultancy firm Ernst & Young to assist with the process, as ch-aviation reported.

Meanwhile, a team of European Union Aviation Safety Agency officials is in Pakistan to conduct a safety audit on PIA. The agency banned the airline from EU airports in 2020 after a fatal crash and a scandal involving fake pilot licences. The four-member team will carry out an on-site assessment, which could help PIA resume scheduled flights to EU airports if successful.