Pakistan airline to halt Islamabad-Dubai flights over debt default

Permission for Shaheen Air International (SAI) to operate flights scheduled on the Islamabad-Dubai-Islamabad route has been revoked by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) effective July 13, 2018, reported local media.

In a letter sent on Monday, CAA directed the Pakistani airline to alert all affected passengers to avoid inconveniences. It urged travellers to make alternative arrangements.

SAI has defaulted on over $18 million of debt to CAA as it continues to struggle with high operating costs and fierce foreign competition in an open skies policy.

This week, it cut its fleet by six aircrafts, putting them on sublease to the Royal Jordanian Airline.

In January, five new airlines were expected to venture into Pakistan’s aviation industry, including Askari Air, Air Siyal, Go Green, Liberty Air and Afeef Zara Airways. The country’s air traffic has risen 40% over the past five years to 20 million passengers, according to reports.

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