Shaheen Air International (NL, Karachi Int'l) has paid a PKR910 million rupee (USD7.45 million) outstanding tax bill after the Federal Revenue Board (FRB) had briefly sealed the carrier's headquarters, The News has reported.

The privately-owned carrier had been previously sued by the FRB for allegedly dodging a PKR497 million rupee (USD4.1 million) federal excise tax bill in April. In May, the carrier allegedly failed to deposit a further PKR480 million rupees.

According to the FRB, the carrier has been collecting between PKR2,500 and PKR5,000 per passenger on account of the excise tax but has not been transferring the money to the tax authorities on time. The FRB has said it sent multiple notices to the carrier, although Shaheen Air denies having ever received them. The authorities have also said they have given Shaheen Air ample time to settle the payments before stepping in and sealing the company's headquarters on June 21.

The carrier has argued that the dispute arose purely because of late payments and has denied dodging the taxes.

It is recalled that the FBR sent a letter to Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in early June asking the regulator to suspend Shaheen Air's operations due to the alleged tax debt totalling PKR521.4 million. However, the CAA has not responded to the request and Shaheen Air says it continues to operate per its normal schedule. The carrier has also underlined that even the sealing of the offices did not impact its operations.

Shaheen Air has however not responded to ch-aviation's request for comment.