Pakistan’s flagship carrier decides to halt flights to US from October 31

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By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan International Airlines, the country’s flagship carrier, will halt flights to the United States from October 31, mainly due to financial losses, according to media reports.
The airline has been incurring annual losses of upto Rs1.25 billion due to its flight operations to the US, prompting the management to stop flights.
The airline is no longer booking US flights through its reservation system after Oct 31.
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 airline had decided several times in the past to discontinue US flights due to the financial losses; however, it faced ‘political pressure’ each time, which hindered its plans, Pakistan’s Geo TV reported.
Some politicians holding dual citizenship, top government officials and pilots exerted ‘pressure’ on the airline not to stop its US flight operations. These flights were ‘beneficial’ to the politicians and officials,
PIA, after stopping direct flights to the US, 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.
Such a code-sharing agreement will help PIA to avoid financial losses.

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