KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will stop flights to the United States and cut jobs from October 31.
The airline is expected to cut more than 500 jobs under the latest plan.
According to a private media outlet’s report, the officials have taken this decision due to heavy losses the country’s flagship carrier was incurring—the losses were estimated to be over Rs 1.25 billion annually.
After October 31, the airline will no longer book US flights through its reservation system.
PIA had been operating flights to the US since 1961 without any disruption. A total of five weekly flights to New York and three other US cities were being operated.
The same reason had forced the airline to ponder upon the option of closing its operations in the US in past too but the political pressure it faced each time hindered its plans, according to the report.
These flights were beneficial to some politicians holding dual citizenship, top government officials and pilots so they exerted pressure on the airline to not stop its US flight operations.
After stopping direct flights to the US, PIA will enter into a code-sharing agreement with an American airline. US-bound passengers will be flown to London, where they will then be transferred to the American airline which will take them to the US.