Pakistan International Airlines seeks help to develop business plan

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Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) wants a consultancy to help it prepare a business plan outlining how to turn around the beleaguered airline.

The consultant will first analyse and determine the reliability of PIA's forecasts for its future, says the airline in a tender document.

It should then help develop a five-year plan that will show how PIA can restructure its operations, revise its capital structure and identify new internal and external funding strategies.

The financial aspects of PIA's recovery will be determined by identifying the factors that have an influence on future revenue streams and expenditures. The operational aspects will be developed by "identifying key milestones" that need to be achieved, says the airline. PIA adds that it is also open to spinning off non-core operations.

In January, the airline issued a separate tender asking for consultants to help conduct a forensic audit after it admitted to losses of Pakistan rupees (PRs) 139 billion ($1.42 billion) since 2005.

It attributed its poor performance to the "ever increasing fuel cost, unprecedented devaluation of [Pakistan] rupee, overstaffing, highly leveraged capital structure causing back-breaking debt servicing cost and last, but not the least, political interference in affairs [of the corporation]".

In 2011, a new business plan was approved by Pakistan's finance ministry. Recent media reports claim that the airline is in negotiations for a new bailout from the government to overcome its crippling debt load and allow it to lease newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft.

In September 2012, financial reports revealed that PIA's liabilities exceeded its current assets by PRs123 billion, prompting its auditors to warn that the company may not be able to continue as a going concern.

Flightglobal Pro data shows that PIA operates a fleet of 31 aircraft, comprising nine Airbus A310s, six ATR 42s, four Boeing 737-300s, three 747-300s, six 777-200ERs and three 777-300ERs. It also has five additional 777-300ERs on order, and plans to lease six Airbus A320s to replace some of its 737s.