The consistent efforts of PIA have finally convinced two carriers to provide the national carrier with seven aircrafts on a wet lease of six months. The deal, while not finalised yet, seems to be all but settled with a Bulgarian and a Turkish carrier to supply aircraft as well as crew, maintenance and insurance until the contract ends. Previous prospective deals have fallen through because of the security situation in Pakistan. The two recent attacks on the Karachi and Peshawar airports making the safety of both crew and aircraft a cause for major concern. The recent Hajj flights have also burdened the already scant supply of planes in the hangers of PIA, with as many as four aircrafts diverted to focus on a single route.

PIA continues to set new records for inefficiency, as last month alone, over 1300 flights were delayed, a feat unmanaged, until now. Out of 73 flights scheduled for Northern areas such as Gilgit and Chitral, popular tourist destinations, 29 were cancelled. While customs, immigration and unreliable weather do have a part to play in the time mismanagement that has practically crippled the airline, departments such as operation services, passenger information, food etc., also take a large portion of the blame.

PIA recently managed to get clearance to the EU reinstated after a temporary restriction was placed. The security risks, mismanagement, a glut of employees and the obvious lack of a business plan is not going to help their reputation. Time is running out for the government to get its act together and commence the sale of a national service that is causing losses of billions. If the leases of these aircrafts are finalized, a short run injection may help decrease the losses, but it will do nothing to help the long-term sustainability of PIA. Privatisation is the only way forward and until this happens, no amount of wet leases is going to make PIA more efficient.