Pakistan plans to start new flights for China, Saudi Arabia

ISLAMABAD, May 2 (Xinhua) — The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is planning to start new flights to China and Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, PIA's spokesperson Mashood Tajwar said on Wednesday.

The spokesperson of the national flag carrier was quoted as saying on Twitter by government of Pakistan that the new PIA will start new flights to the Chinese city of Guangzhou and Saudi Arabian cities of Taif and Al-Qasim.

The announcement to add new international routes has come at a time when the PIA is reportedly struggling to fulfill its financial obligations.

The South Asian country's taxation authorities recently froze all the bank accounts of the national flag carrier after it failed to pay 10 million Pakistani rupees (86,399 U.S. dollars) in federal excise duty to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The freeze had damaged the PIA's ability to purchase fuel for its aircrafts besides paying its suppliers.

Talking about the New Islamabad International Airport, the PIA spokesperson stated that the latest airport facility is studded with the current and modern facilities which will help Pakistan boost its economy.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the New Islamabad International Airport on Tuesday. The PIA's flight PK-300 carrying 150 passengers became the first flight to land at the new airport, while another PIA flight took off from the New Islamabad International Airport for Karachi at 12:30 p.m. local time the same day. The complete flights' operations from the newly built airport facility will commence from Thursday.

The New Islamabad Airport has been designed to cater to 9 million passengers and handle 50,000 metric tons of cargo in the initial phase.