ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suffered an estimated loss of over Rs146 billion from 2013 to 2016, however a surge in losses is expected for the year 2016, the National Assembly was informed on Monday.

Answering a question by Shahida Rehmani, minister in-charge of Aviation Division in a written reply to the National Assembly said that during 2016 the estimated after tax loss was Rs36,953 million, in 2015 it was Rs32,529 million, in 2014 it was Rs32,222 million, while during 2013 national carrier suffered a loss of Rs44,322 million.

He said that after 2013 a decreasing trend in losses was witnessed. He said the losses declined by more than 27 per cent during 2014 and 2015.

Though the financial accounts have not been finalised yet, in 2016 a surge in losses is expected, due to acquiring of a new aircraft on lease and the payment of mark up on legacy loans.

Answering another question, the minister said that a non-flight worthy Airbus A310 bearing registration number AP-BAQ was sold for €47,500 to a museum in Leipzig, Germany with the approval of the former CEO Bernd Hildenbrand.

He said that some discrepancies were found in the application of the PPRA rules 2004 in the sale of the aircraft and an internal inquiry of this matter was carried out in which Hildenbrand was found guilty of violations. Hildenbrand was terminated from the PIA. The FIA is reportedly conducting an inquiry into the said matter and its findings are awaited.

Answering a question by Dr Nafisa Shah that whether a Sri Lankan aircraft was leased by the Pakistan International Airlines at higher rates, the minister said that PIA acquired one A330 aircraft from Sri Lankan Airlines for a period of six months from August 10, 2016 at a rate of USD 8,100 per block hour.

The offers were invited through competitive bidding process as per the PPRA Rules and the Sri Lankan Airlines aircraft was selected being the lowest evaluated bidder, meeting the tender requirements.  This matter is under inquiry by the FIA and so far no final report has been submitted.