ISLAMABAD: Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Wednesday said that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has incurred losses of upto Rs 4 billion due to coronavirus pandemic and it could further rise to Rs 6 billion by the end of March 2020, media reported.
He said that they were not alone to suffer from the ongoing situation as the entire aviation industry has incurred losses due to the virus outbreak, restricting worldwide movements.
The federal minister said that they operated 27 special flights to bring back 8824 Umrah pilgrims from Saudi Arabia while Pakistanis stranded in Qatar and United Arab Emirates were also brought back to homeland via special flights.
He said that the country is faced with toughest economic conditions and all segments of the society including media should work with the government to combat coronavirus spread.
“Even the strongest global economies have been shaken from the pandemic,” Ghulam Sarwar said.
While applauding the multi-billion relief package announced from Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said that even during testing times, the government was committed to facilitate the masses.
The aviation minister further said that decison to lower down fuel prices in the country would bring down inflation rates and provide immediate relief to the masses.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) announced to suspend its international flight operations on March 21.
The international flight operation will remain suspended from March 22 till March 28. However, domestic flights will continue as per schedule, said the announcement.
The flight operation across the globe has been suspended as a precautionary measure to control over outbreak of the coronavirus, as number of other countries have been also suspended their flight operations due to the risk.