ISLAMABAD - Pakistan International Airlines has received 18 aircraft on dry lease while another two A-320 aircraft will join its fleet soon, Minister in-charge of the Aviation Division told National Assembly on Thursday.

In a written reply, PIA management stated that the company had recently signed agreements for acquisition of 20 aircraft on dry lease - two B777 aircraft, thirteen A-320s and five ATRs-72 prop-turbo.

Recently, two B777, eleven A-320 and five ATR-72 have already joined PIA’s fleet, while remaining two A-320 will be joining the fleet soon, National Assembly was told. The present strength of the fleet of the carrier is 38 while by 2016 it will be 40.

The airline further affirmed that during June 2013-December 2014, government provided cash support of Rs. 20.6 billion to PIA.

ECC in its meeting on 6-12-2014 had approved 52 million dollars for induction of 15 aircraft in fleet on the basis of dry lease. This amount would be injected as equity by the government of Pakistan. PIA has already received the said amount and total government approvals from June, 2013 till date are Rs. 28.8 billion against loans obtained by PIA.

The airline management highlighted that the company was passing through dire financial state. However, efforts were underway to improve the financial health of the Corporation by reducing its losses through various means and modes. Stringent action is being taken against corruption and mismanagement.

The average age of fleet has also been reduced presently to 10 years which will further reduce to 8 years after grounding of above 20 years old A-310. To meet the growing demand, PIA acted prudently to acquire aircraft on wet lease on short term basis which helped greatly in retaining its market share, which were returned back in May 2015.

Highlighting efforts to enhance the performance of employees a festival allowance has been introduced for all staff cadre employees, for all major religious festivals like Eid and Christmas, according to the respective religion. Medical facilities have further been augmented by allowing lifetime admissibility to special children of employees.

The management also mentioned that salaries of PIA staff have also been revised at the rate of 50% for PG-I and PG II employees and at the rate of 45% for PG-III and PG-IV employees, while ad-hoc salary raise at the rate of 17% has been granted to Ooficer cadre employees whereas negotiations are currently underway with the representative association of PIA officers, for a practicable increase in their salaries.

Answering another question, the management told parliament that presently 08 weekly flights to and from Chitral are being operated. Four flights from Islamabad go to Chitral while other four flew from Peshawar.