The Pakistani government has pitched a swathe of state-owned enterprises, including PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Islamabad International), to a high-level Saudi delegation led by the kingdom's foreign minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

Among other matters, the meetings this week finalised a bilateral implementation mechanism between the two countries to closely coordinate on and execute investment-related opportunities. While statements from the Pakistani government did not reference PIA, multiple Pakistani news outlets reported that the Special Investment Facilitation Council, an agency of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "invited" Saudi Arabia to partner Pakistan in privatising PIA, various airports, and other state-owned enterprises.

The reports did not explicitly state what any partnership would entail, although, in the case of PIA, it would presumably mean buying a stake in the carrier.

The Pakistani government is moving to privatise its perennially loss-making state-owned airline. Earlier this month, via its Privatisation Commission, it formally called for expressions of interest (EOI) to acquire 51-100% of the share capital and management control of the carrier. Around the same time, ch-aviation reported that several Gulf nations, including Saudia Arabia, were holding talks with the government about potential stakes in the airline.

Interested parties have until May 3 to submit their EOIs, after which further information on the number and identities of the bidders should become available. Under the present timeline, the Pakistani government hopes to have the contracts signed and the PIA privatisation in place by the middle of the year.