SC orders PIA to decrease Islamabad-GB airfare

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to lower the airfare to Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had taken a suo motu notice of the issue last month.

On Tuesday, a three-judge bench headed by the CJP and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Umar Ata Bandial took up the case for hearing.

GB lawmakers had in April expressed reservations over the price hike from Rs8,500 to Rs14,000 on one-way flight from Islamabad to Skardu.

According to lawmakers, the cost was higher than one-way flight between Islamabad and Karachi and expressed fears that the high cost would negatively impact tourism in the region.

The CJP inquired about the airfare from Islamabad to GB from PIA Chief Executive Officer Musharraf Rasool Cyan’s counsel Naeem Bukhari. Instead, Bukhari detailed a return-flight cost between Islamabad and Sukkur, adding it cost Rs26,000.

“The fare (for a round-trip from Islamabad to GB) is almost Rs30,000,” the CJP observed.

“From here [Islamabad] to GB is a half-hour journey. Do not mistreat the people [of GB] in this manner,” he remarked.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan then ordered PIA to decrease the cost for Islamabad-GB flights.

“Lower the rates,” he directed.



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