LAHORE – Five new planes (B-777) will be added to the PIA fleet by April next as a part of a business plan of the airlines, sources in the national flag-carrier said on Sunday.

They claimed that B-777 narrow body latest version would be hired from Boeing Company and tender in this connection had been issued and its last date has been expired a week back.

A senior officer of PIA said that different companies were contacting PIA management in this regard and negotiations were underway. PIA Spokesman Tahir Khaliq  said that on Monday, Prime Minister Gillani might give time for meeting to a PIA team for submission of business plan after modification.  It is worth mentioning that in the recent past the PM had rejected the business plan submitted by PIA management and asked them to come up with modifying the same. “We have modified our business plan and as per modified business plan we are not demanding any cash or bank guarantee from Pakistan govt,” said Tahir.

He added that at present PIA was paying Rs. 2 billions per month to commercial banks as interest of the loan obtained for previous purchase of planes and we have requested Prime Minister to provide relief PIA for said liability for only two to three years. To a question that against what type of lease the planes would be hired, wet or dry lease, he said it is yet to be decided.

He said that few companies have approached and offered their rates but Minister Defense looking most suitable deal for the benefit of PIA. He said that two aircrafts hired fro Hajj operation from Greece were sent back after completion of Hajj operation. It was being claimed by the management that most probably first of the additions to the national carrier will be in 2012 and this may be a Boeing and it was being proved true.