The financial consortium appointed by the Pakistani government to advise on the partial privatisation of PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Islamabad International) has handed over its long-awaited report on the airline. Pakistan's Ministry of Privatisation confirmed receipt during a meeting on January 25, 2024.

"The financial advisor presented a business plan forecasting the investment roadmap of PIA together with the immediate funding requirements of the airline," a statement from the ministry reads. "The proposed plan covered the capital and fleet requirements of the airline in the short and medium term to make it a viable and globally competitive airline."

The capital requirements reportedly included immediate funding needs of USD600 million, the latest in a long line of capital injections, loans, and bailouts needed to keep PIA in the air. Local outlets also report that nine of PIA's planes are out-of-service due to an inability to source parts.

In November, a consortium led by Ernst & Young and comprising Bauer Aviation Advisory, Haidermota & Co, Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer, Nutshell, and Knight Frank won the right to advise on the privatisation process. The consortium is reportedly earning USD7 million, paid in a series of instalments as outcomes are met, for their effort.

Last week's report, required because it contained asset valuations needed to progress with the privatisation, also made recommendations on the legal separation of PIA entities and valuation methodologies. Privatisation Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad, who chaired last week's meeting, made some minor suggestions regarding the "further rationalisation of the projections" and will take it to the cabinet for approval.

The current caretaker government has heavily backed the plan to sell 51% of PIA, an idea that has been tried several times but failed to secure the necessary support. The previous administration took up the proposal again, and the interim government has continued with it. However, plans to lock in privatisation before the February 8 general election now seem increasingly unlikely.