PIA to get four dry leased aircraft

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines will take four new aircraft on a six-year dry lease in line with a renewed business plan to expand its fleet.

The two narrow-body Airbus A320 aircraft will replace the Boeing 777 planes. With their arrival between July and December, the existing fleet will expand to 39. According to its website, the airline’s fleet currently comprises 37 planes: seven Boeing 777s, nine Airbus-320s and 21 ATRs.

Dry lease is an aviation term that means the airline will acquire the aircraft without the flight crew.

The first plane will arrive by the second week of July, followed by the second aircraft in August. The third and fourth jets will arrive between October and December.

The airline in December last year decided to acquire eight new aircraft to expand its fleet. The aircraft will have a capacity of over 170 seats — all economy with a soft divider after two rows.

The process is part of the business plan the flag carrier had been working on for the past two years which got pushed back due to reduced demand owing to the pandemic, it was reported at the time.

In August last year, PIA Chief Executive Officer retired Air Marshal Arshad Malik said 12 new aircraft will be added to the airline’s fleet by 2023.

The cash-strapped airline has been looking to reduce costs, particularly since the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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