Pakistan International Airlines (File/Representational Image)
The cash-strapped Pakistan International Airlines operated 46 flights without any passengers during 2016-17, incurring a loss of over USD 1.1 million to the national carrier, according to a media report.
The figures were revealed in an audit report which stated that the airline suffered huge financial losses by operating 46 empty flights from Islamabad, the Geo TV reported. The report stated that the PIA flew the empty flights during the time period of 2016 to 2017.
The airline faced a huge loss worth Rs 180 million (USD 1.1 million) and no inquiry was launched despite the administration being informed of the matter, the news report said. The audit report also mentioned that besides these, around 36 Hajj flights also operated without any passengers.
The news comes at a time when Pakistan's economy is in shambles and the country also faces the threat of a blacklist from the Paris-based anti-money laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Grappling with a debt-ridden economy, Pakistan has secured bailouts (including that from the IMF) to stay afloat. It has been warned by the FATF with repercussions -- which may include blacklisting -- if it fails to stop terror financing, amongst other things.