The Pakistani government is yet to shift debts and liabilities accrued by PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Islamabad International) into a separate entity, despite media reports it has already done so. It is moving to sell between 51% and 100% of the consistently lossmaking airline and wants to decouple the liabilities from the balance sheet to make PIA a more attractive buy.

Last week, an invitation to potential buyers to lodge expressions of interest spelled out the government's plans to transfer certain non-core assets and liabilities to a new entity called PIAHoldco. Specifically, these include monies owed to the government, certain financial institutions, employee pension and superannuation funds, and entities such as insurance companies, fuel companies, and the Civil Aviation Authority. PIA's debts to financial institutions alone amount to approximately USD2.23 billion.

Multiple media outlets have reported that the debt transfer was completed, but a PIA spokesperson told ch-aviation that it is yet to be done. "There are still some procedural things that need to be taken care of before that. The expectation is that it should be completed before the change of ownership/management takes place."

Meanwhile, PIA Pakistan International Airlines has posted a net loss of PKR75.76 billion rupees (USD272 million) for the nine months to September 30, 2023, according to an April 8, 2024, filing with the Pakistan Stock Exchange. It generated PRK186.45 billion (USD670 million) in revenue for the nine-month period but faced significant expenses including fuel costs of PKR74.2 billion (USD266.5 million), foreign exchange losses of PKR25.97 billion (USD93 million), and finance costs of PKR58.3 billion (USD209 million). Across calendar 2022, PIA incurred a net loss of PKR88 billion (USD316 million).

At an April 4 meeting of the government's Privatisation Commission Board, privatisation minister Abdul Aleem Khan described PIA as "a very attractive opportunity for both local and international investors." He said it would be even more attractive when the debts and liabilities are wiped off its balance sheet and transferred to PIAHoldco.